Netflix account sharing: what you (and your friends) need to know

Sharing passwords for Netflix is common for those who want to avoid paying for their own account - but the streaming service is looking to put an end to the practice.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 2:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 4:00 pm

This is what you (and that one friend who piggybacks off your account) need to know about the crackdown on password sharing.

Sharing accounts

The Netflix model does allow for account sharing to a certain degree, as it allows users to create multiple profiles on one account depending on what plan the account is on:

Are you guilty of account sharing? (Photo: Shutterstock)

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- The basic package for £5.99 per month that can only be viewed on one screen

- The standard package for £8.99 per month that can be viewed on two screens at the same time

- The premium package for £11.99 that can be viewed on up to four screens at the same time

However, these plans are designed for people living in a single household using the same login.

Netflix’s terms and conditions state, “The Netflix service and any content viewed through the service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”

Cracking down

Speaking at Netflix’s Q3 2019 earnings last week, Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, was asked during an interview with Michael Morris how Netflix plans to address the issue without “alienating a certain portion of [the] userbase”.

Peters replied that they would “continue to monitor” the issue and would be looking at “consumer friendly ways to push on the edges” of the problem.

What those “consumer friendly ways” to crack down on password sharing might be has not been specified.

There are a few ways that Netflix could implement ways to limit password sharing, such as monitoring and limiting IP addresses.

Accounts getting shut down

According to some reports, users are already feeling the effects of the streaming company’s efforts to minimise account sharing.

Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told The Sun, “They are policing this [already] by blocking the third concurrent screen if two screens are in use at the same time.”

Within the Netflix terms and conditions, it states that they reserve the right to “terminate or restrict” an account if they find you are violating the terms of use or are engaged in “illegal or fraudulent use of the service”.