According to a report from the Rest of World, Netflix’s test to crackdown on password sharing has left some customers perplexed. In March, the streaming service began experimenting with password-sharing solutions in Peru, Chile, and Costa Rica. Users in these countries were forced to pay an extra price to facilitate streaming for those outside their households who use the same account.
Rest of World spoke with over a dozen Netflix members in Peru. According to the publication, most of the consumers were not properly informed of the policy change by an email/notice from Netflix. Although the policy change was announced less than two months ago.
Netflix’s level of enforcement varies per user, according to the publication. Some users on shared accounts stated that they ignored validation prompts without being penalised by the account owner. Another user informed Rest of World that they were never notified of a policy change and that they were able to continue sharing their account without difficulty.
A Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household
There is additional ambiguity around Netflix’s definition of a “household” (since some may consider their close family members to be part of the household).
According to Netflix, “A household is defined as the people with whom a subscriber lives. That means you can share your password with your roommates, but not with a distant relative.”
Netflix subscribers who wish to share their accounts with others outside their household can do so for a charge. According to a Netflix spokesperson, the charge is roughly $2 in USD, however, it varies from country to country.
Netflix sent email alerts to millions of users
Netflix spokesperson Kumiko Hidaka in an emailed statement to The Verge said, “While we started working on paid sharing over 18 months ago, we have been clear for five years that ‘A Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household.”
She further stated, “Email alerts have been sent to the millions of users who are actively sharing an account in these countries. But given the significance of this change, we are gradually increasing in-product notifications. We’re thrilled with the response thus far.”
Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing was looming after Netflix reported losing members for the first time in over a decade in its most recent financial report. Although it still has 74.58 million users in the US and Canada and 222 million internationally. As it tries to recruit new customers, the firm will go through several changes. Netflix executives allegedly informed staff that the firm will provide a lower, ad-supported plan within the year. Doing this will give long-term members a cheaper alternative to stay in the fold following nearly yearly price rises. It’s also looking at live streaming to compete with Disney Plus, which is rapidly expanding.