Netflix is a streaming service that lets you watch many different kinds of videos online for a monthly fee. Netflix lets you make different profiles on one account, and each profile can have its own choices, history, and suggestions. Netflix also lets you share your account with people who live with you, which means “the devices that use the internet at the main place where you watch Netflix” .
But some people have been sharing their passwords with people who do not live with them, like friends, family, or strangers. This is against Netflix’s rules and makes Netflix lose money. According to a 2020 report by Magid Research, about 33% of Netflix users share their passwords with at least one other person .
To stop this, Netflix has recently started to check if an account is used from an unknown device or network. When this happens, Netflix will send a code to the account owner’s email or phone number and ask the user to type it to keep watching. If the user does not do this, they will be asked to either make their own account or join the existing account as an extra member for more money .
This check has different effects for both Netflix and its users. On one hand, Netflix may get more customers, less piracy, and more loyalty. According to streaming analytics company Antenna, Netflix had its four biggest days of new user sign-ups in the US in late May 2023, soon after the check started . This means that some password sharers decided to get their own accounts instead of losing access to Netflix’s videos. Also, Netflix may be able to protect its rights and stop unauthorized sharing of its videos by limiting the number of devices and places that can watch them. Plus, Netflix may be able to improve its relationship with its customers by offering them more tailored recommendations, features, and benefits based on their individual profiles and choices.
On the other hand, Netflix may also face some problems and risks because of the check. For example, some password sharers may cancel their subscriptions or switch to other services that are more easygoing or cheaper than Netflix. This could make Netflix lose money and customers in the very competitive streaming industry. Also, some password sharers may feel angry or cheated by Netflix’s rule change and see it as a greedy or unfair move. This could hurt Netflix’s reputation and image among its current and future customers. Also, some password sharers may find ways to avoid or trick Netflix’s check by using VPNs, fake devices, or sharing codes. This could make Netflix’s efforts to follow its rules and secure its service useless.
Netflix’s password sharing check is a smart decision that aims to increase its income by getting more customers and reducing its video leakage. But it also has some costs and consequences for both the company and its users. The final impact of this check will depend on how Netflix balances its business goals with its customer happiness and loyalty.