Netflix password-sharing crackdown details released
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Additional information about Netflix’s efforts to restrict members from sharing passwords outside their households has come to light.
The "Sharing your Netflix account" pages on the streaming giant’s Help Center for Costa Rica, Chile and Peru on Wednesday said "anyone in your household (those who live with you at your primary location)" can use a Netflix account.
Netflix logo (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Those who aren’t part of what Netflix considers a household will have to get their own account. Or the owner of the account that outsiders have been using can add them as an "extra member," according to those webpages.
The cost of adding an "extra member" to an account with a standard or premium plan is "less than the price of [Netflix’s] basic plan," the Help Center pages for the three countries add. That additional monthly fee will be charged to the person whose account the "extra member" gets added to.
"When someone signs into your account from a device that is not part of your primary location, or if your account is accessed persistently from another location, that device may be blocked from watching Netflix," the website also states.
To detect devices linked to the primary location of an account, the company said it utilizes IP addresses, device IDs and account activity.
In this photo iIllustration, the Netflix logo is seen on the screen of an iPhone in front of a computer screen showing a Netflix logo. (Chesnot/Getty Images / Getty Images)
Associating a device with a primary location involves "connect[ing] to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open[ing] the Netflix app or website and watch[ing] something at least once every 31 days," the Help Center page for Costa Rica said. Those so-called "trusted devices" allow users to stream content on Netflix when not at the primary location.
People can still use the streaming service while traveling or living "between different places" by using a temporary access code or updating the primary location of an account.
A man presses the Netflix button on a TV remote control. (Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Netflix said in a Jan. 19 shareholder letter that over 100 million households engaged in account sharing, something it said "undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business." The company has plans for the new paid sharing system to launch "more broadly" in the first quarter of 2023, it also said.
"Near term engagement," Netflix said, could see some negative impacts while the company expands the paid-sharing system and some users choose to stop instead of creating their own accounts or becoming an "extra member." The company said it expects engagement to grow "over time," however.
Netflix's total subscriber count came in at 230.75 million at the end of 2022’s fourth quarter, compared to 221.84 million reported in the same period in 2021.