It’s quite a common practice for people to share the cost of a single streaming subscription in order to save money but companies like Netflix aren’t big fans of it due to lost revenue. After losing subscribers for the first time in a decade, the company announced earlier this year that it plans to finally crack down on password sharing, something it has been putting off since it identified the issue back in 2019.
A new report by the Wall Street Journal confirms the move will be implemented in early 2023. While the streaming giant managed to avoid risking alienating its customer by banning account sharing because of the subscriber boom it got during the 2020 pandemic, it could no longer ignore the problem as the company’s stock has been plummeting during the past year.
The preparation for the crackdown has been subtle, but it has been creeping up bit by bit through new features and clear wording changes such as on its customer help pages that now state that accounts can only be shared by people who live together. The tech giant will reportedly enforce the rule based on IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity.
That being said, the report claims that Netflix won’t drop the hammer on its worldwide customer base all at once. Instead, it will pressure customers to stop password sharing gradually.
Executives apparently did consider allowing pay-per-view content to deter customers from sharing their accounts at the risk of being charged extra, but the company ultimately decided against it.
The streaming platform has been testing out a few methods as to how it might monetise password sharers. In select South American countries, Netflix has been charging users with the same account who live in different households an additional fee for extra members that costs slightly less than a new subscription entirely.
There is also the “Add a Home“ trial in some Latin American countries where you need to pay extra to use your account in locations outside your main home. To help password-sharing users prepare for the transition to their own accounts after the inevitable crackdown, Netflix has already introduced a profile transfer feature that lets you transfer all your lists and viewing history to a new account.