Netflix plans to start subscriber suppression In the US who share their password to the streaming service by the end of March. But how exactly will that work?
Initial reports and experience in other countries suggest that efforts to deter password sharing will be relatively bland in its first iteration, relying on a combination of technology and user conscience to get serial participants to pay more for the privilege.
Netflix is likely to use a person’s geographic location, as determined by the IP address of any device connected to the Internet, to figure out who counts as “at home” individuals living together, knowledgeable reporter Sarah Sarrell told CBS News.
“If you’re watching TV, it will show exactly where you are,” Sarel said. “They just want people to watch at your house, at your address.”
On its website, Netflix says the company uses “IP addresses, device identifiers, and account activity from devices registered to a Netflix account” to identify devices in the same household.
People who don’t live in your home will need to use their own accounts to watch Netflix Says.
Netflix told investors last week that it will roll out stricter sharing rules by the end of March. Currently, more than 100 million households share Netflix passwords, the service said. This “undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix,” the company said in a statement accompanying its latest quarterly results.
In 2022, Netflix introduced limited password sharing in Latin America, requiring members to pay an additional fee to share their account with non-family members. This effort had mixed results.
The rest of the world’s tech publication is called Testing.”chaosThe outlet reported that “the new policy was rolled out inconsistently. Many users managed to avoid additional fees, while others were told to pay more and responded by canceling their accounts.”
Netflix expected a similar response in the U.S. “From our experience in Latin America, we anticipate some cancellation reaction in every market when we begin paid participation,” the company told investors, noting that could hurt its viewership in the short term.
Netflix said it recognizes the new policy is a significant change for customers, and has sought to soften the blow by touting new features intended to make the transition less painful. This includes allowing members to see all devices using an account and making it easy to move individual profiles into separate accounts. Last fall, the service also introduced a dashboard that lets account users sign out of individual devices.
Netflix has not indicated how much these affiliate memberships can cost. However, in trials in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, sub-membership increased the monthly cost of an account by a quarter or a third, according to variety.
“This is where these tough conversations come in — who deserves to pay a quarter of your extra subscription cost each month?” Sarel sarcastically.
If Netflix finds that too many sites are using the same account, it will publish a technical alert: a prompt asking users to “verify” certain devices via authentication codes.
“When a device outside your household is signed in to an account or is being used frequently, we may ask you to check that device before it can be used to watch Netflix,” Frequently asked questions about the company Notes.
However, Netflix also says that users will not be automatically charged if the system detects too many streams for the site, and accounts will not be canceled. This led some observers to question how effective the password campaign really was.
“All indications are that the most offensive Netflix intends to get into the first iteration of the paid sharing rollout is to continue prodding offenders with email reminders and notifications,” Todd Spangler wrote in Variety in November.