Snippet: Netflix Begins Its Password Sharing Crackdown in the US and Global Markets ☇

Shared on May 24, 2023

Sarah Perez for TechCrunch:

Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing is now beginning to roll out to U.S. subscribers and other global markets, after a delayed launch. The streamer had originally planned to introduce “paid sharing” to U.S. subscribers in the first quarter of this year but pushed the start date back to the summer, after seeing cancellations in markets where it had already launched the changes. Under the new rules, U.S. subscribers will have to either kick people off their Netflix account or pay $7.99/month for an additional membership for those outside their main household. […]

For those sharing someone else’s Netflix account, they can make the transition to an account of their own through a “Transfer Profile” option that will help them to relocate their existing account information, including their viewing history and watchlist.

The feature has been met with much consumer backlash, but Netflix assured investors that despite some early cancellations, it believes the password crackdown will be beneficial to its long-term growth as a business and to its financial health.

I don’t begrudge Netflix enforcing this, but I think there’s two bigger problems that Netflix isn’t addressing:

  1. In order to get 4K, you have to have the top-tier plan, which also allows 4 simultaneous streams. If someone lives by themself or with one other person, why not allow sharing the extra screen(s)?
  2. There’s a serious trust problem with Netflix as so many shows have been canceled abruptly, despite having good buzz and a decent following.

Out of the two of these, the first lends itself to two friends splitting an account if they care about video quality. Why have the number of screens tied to video quality anyway? For the second, I’ve found myself less likely to try a new series on Netflix. After a few long-running series wrap up, it’s going to make it harder to justify keeping Netflix. I suspect others feel the same and I’m guessing that there will be fewer add-on memberships or migrations than Netflix is assuming.

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