Netflix has confirmed it will expand its password-sharing crackdown into more countries, as it seeks to safeguard revenues for more investment into content.

Last October the streaming giant confirmed it would finally begin its long touted crack down on password sharing in 2023.

It began its password-sharing crackdown in Latin America, and is now ready to roll this out more broadly, starting Wednesday in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.

Password-sharing

Customers in those countries will be asked asked to pay an extra fee, if they want their friends and family who don’t live with them to share their subscription.

This confirmation came in a blog post from Chengyi Long, Netflix director, product innovation, who revealed that currently 100 million households are sharing their Netflix accounts.

“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account with features like profiles and multiple streams,” wrote Long. “While these have been hugely popular, they’ve also created confusion about when and how you can share Netflix. Today, over 100 million households are sharing accounts – impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films.”

She then confirmed that Netflix is “now ready” to deploy its password sharing crackdown in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.

Users will be asked to do the following:

  • Set primary location: Netflix will help members set this up, ensuring that anyone who lives in their household can use their Netflix account.
  • Manage account access and devices: Members can now easily manage who has access to their account from Netflix’s new Manage Access and Devices page.
  • Transfer profile: People using an account can now easily transfer a profile to a new account, which they pay for — keeping their personalised recommendations, viewing history, My List, saved games and more.
  • Watch while travelling: Members will still easily watch Netflix on their personal devices or log into a new TV, like at a hotel or holiday rental.
  • Buy an extra member: Members on Netflix’s Standard or Premium plan in many countries (including Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain) can add an extra member sub account for up to two people they don’t live with – each with a profile, personalised recommendations, login and password – for an extra CAD$7.99 (£4.91) a month per person in Canada, NZD$7.99 (£4.19) in New Zealand, Euro 3.99 (£3.54) in Portugal, and Euro 5.99 (£5.31) in Spain.

“We value our members and recognise that they have many entertainment choices,” wrote Long. “A Netflix account is intended for one household and members can choose from a range of plans with different features. As always, we’ll refine these new features based on member feedback so that we continue to improve Netflix in the years ahead.”

Long time coming

Netflix is taking this action after it saw its subscriber numbers fall sharply in the first half of 2022. It cut hundreds of jobs and raised prices to cover increasing costs.

In November, it introduced a cheaper ad-supported subscription plan in 12 countries, including most of Europe, the UK and the US.

The password-sharing crackdown has been a long time coming.

In March 2021 Netflix had warned it was testing account passwords, as it sought to clampdown on the revenue losing problem of password sharing.

Then in March 2022, Netflix began testing new tools to crackdown on password sharing between people who don’t live in the same household.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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