Netflix password sharing: Latin America trials hint at new plan

Netflix password sharing: Latin America trials hint at new plan

Time is running out for anyone using someone else’s Netflix account to watch hit shows like Stranger Things and The Crown, as the streaming giant has promised to end password sharing in a few weeks.

The company has now updated its help page for US users with details on what to expect when it cracks down on account sharing, and a new lawsuit in Latin America sheds light on how Netflix plans to apply the rules.

One of the main techniques Netflix will use, according to the new Password Sharing FAQ for US users, is device verification.

When a device attempts to log into an account outside of the associated household, or if an account is frequently used outside of the home, the primary account holder will be emailed a four-digit code to authenticate the login attempt. connection.

Netflix said the primary account holder and those who live with them shouldn’t be asked to check in if they’re traveling outside their home, but if they’re away from the household for an extended period, they can sometimes be required to enter a verification code.

“People who don’t live in your household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix,” the company reiterated on the new help page.

How will Netflix know if you share a password?

Netflix’s help pages for Peru, Costa Rica and Chile, where it tested its new rules on password sharing, have also been updated, sharing a few more details about the process.

Company will use information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to track whether people who do not live with the primary account holder are using their login credentials. It promises not to collect location data through the devices’ GPS systems.

Users in the trial countries were asked to set up a primary location, which is described as “the primary location where you watch Netflix” and “associated with your home Wi-Fi network and the devices connected to it”.

Netflix apps in these locations have been updated with additional settings that allow users to set their primary location, which involves SMS or email verification.

“To make sure your devices are paired to your primary location, connect to Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days,” reads Netflix instructions.

Those in Peru, Costa Rica, and Chile who still want to help others access Netflix now have the ability to add additional members to their account instead of just sharing their login details.

This offer allows account holders to purchase an additional member slot for their account for less than the price of a basic Netflix package, which they can use to invite people outside their household to use the platform.

Additional members have their own accounts and passwords, but their membership is paid for by the person who invited them to join. They will only be able to watch Netflix on one device at a time.

Although the new anti-password sharing system is in place in all three Latin American trial countries, some participating users told technology publication Rest of the World that there were no consequences. when they ignored the rules.

How harmful is password sharing to Netflix?

With the streaming wars escalating in recent years thanks to major players like Disney and Apple entering the arena, Netflix’s subscriber numbers have come under pressure.

In a letter to shareholders last month, the company said sharing passwords “undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix,” and pledged to end the practice within 10 weeks. .

Along with its crackdown on password sharing, the company announced last year that it would introduce a $7-a-month ad-supported subscription plan, betting that the budget offering would help it revive its growth.

It wasn’t wrong – in late January Netflix released its first quarterly earnings report which reflected subscription numbers at its ad-supported level, with the numbers massively exceeding Wall Street expectations.

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