Netflix begins password crackdown
Thousands of people across the UK and US will get emails today that will see viewers lose access to Netflix.
Emails will be sent to anyone who is sharing an account with someone who doesn’t live in the same household. People who are not the main account holders and who do not live in the same home will lose access.
Following the earlier implementation in Canada and Spain, UK and US customers who share passwords will receive an email today clarifying that an account is intended for a single household.
However, customers can add an individual from outside their household for an additional £4.99 per month.
Netflix has confirmed that customers will not be automatically charged the £4.99 fee if they have a member outside their household. Instead, customers will need to opt-in for this option.
According to Bitwarden’s 2023 World Password Day survey, 35% of Brits and 47% of Americans still share passwords for TV streaming services. These figures are higher than the amount of Brits who share passwords for social media apps (23%), banking apps (19%) and music streaming apps (20%).
In the US, these figures sit at 31% for social media apps, 28% for banking apps and 31% for streaming apps
Jeff Richey, TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad.com, comments:
“The writing has been on the wall for months, but Netflix has finally pulled the plug on the thousands of Brits who have been sharing friends’ and family members’ accounts.
“The streaming giant sees these add-on customers as a valuable source of extra revenue now the growth of its subscriber base has slowed. Yet this controversial move could well see viewers turn away from the streaming giant.
“It is going to test customer loyalty at a time when competition among streaming platforms has never been fiercer. Most Netflix users are on rolling monthly contracts so it’s easy for them to jump ship, and the cost of living means TV subscriptions are often the first to go when households tighten their belts.
“The positive news for the company is that its ad-supported tier has hit five million global active users per month, giving it a fresh income stream. This cheaper subscription might also be popular for current Netflix sharers wanting their own account as — at £4.99 a month — it costs the same as the new paid sharing level.
“However for Netflix the bottom line is always going to be linked to the quality of its content. It’s in desperate need of another standout, binge-worthy show like Squid Game, capable of drawing in new subscribers. Time may not be on its side. The current Hollywood writers’ strike has put a pause on the production of the next series of Stranger Things while Squid Game 2 is not due to be released for over a year. Viewers may not wait that long.
“Netflix has just added all eight Harry Potter films to its lineup, which has won praise from die-hard fans. However this feels like an expensive sticking plaster — they will need more fresh ideas to keep subscribers happy.”