Well, who didn’t see that coming? Users impacted by the Netflix password sharing crackdown have started to leave the service. We’ve known for some time that the company was looking to crack down on password sharing, but it seems, the process isn’t great.

As some background, the policy from Netflix defines a household as people the subscriber lives with. So, in theory, you can share a password with housemates if you’re in a share house, but not your immediate family. If you’re sharing a password — as many users are known to be — you can pay a nominal fee of a few dollars for up to two extra users. Undoubtedly, Netflix is expecting to lose users but with the increased revenue on the remaining accounts, up its profits.

The problem is, in the trial users have been receiving inconsistent messaging around the changes. Perhaps most interestingly, the feedback rest of world has received suggests the testing involves multiple ways of detecting password sharing:

The varied user experiences with notifications and charges suggest Netflix may be testing different versions of the rollout on different customers or has not fully defined the terms of the policy. “They may end up causing issues with their so-far loosely inferred definition of a household,” said Isabelle Charney, a researcher for Ampere Analysis.

The most obvious ways to control this is:

  • By having users log in on the same within a specified time period
  • Using a 2FA option to the primary account holders device
  • Requiring some form of tracking to the user device

None of which will be popular with users, which is one of the reasons Netflix are testing in low income markets for them: Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru. Hopefully, if the trend of user loss is high enough, Netflix will abandon its plans to tighten up on password sharing.

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Elvin

Ha! Love this. With the way this is written it seems the author almost encourages password sharing.

Its an abuse of the system and I’m glad Netflix is cracking down on it. Should’ve been done from the beginning and never have let the leeches in.

Elvin

Barely, but yes they did. Doesn’t mean it was right though. Get rid of the leachers and stealers – makes it better for everyone else doing the right thing.

They are doing it the proper way, nothing is wrong with it. People will complain because they are being caught out.

Paul Warner

So if they do it via IP address tracking every time your IP address changes it’s counted as another account login, You login from a cell phone Opps password sharing or if you go away some where and take your device with you opps password sharing. There are so may ways this could go wrong.

Elvin

Lucky they are a bit more advanced than that then lol!

Elvin

Technology has advanced since the early 2000’s though so something as basic, old-fashioned and outdated as Paul suggested is not something to be concerned about.

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