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Netflix officially cracking down on password sharing in 2023

Time to start thinking about getting your own account.

netflix on macbook air
Image: KnowTechie

UPDATE 1/23/2022: In a letter to shareholders, Netflix says they expect to roll out paid account sharing “more broadly” toward the end of the first quarter of 2023. More here: Netflix password sharing could be ending as soon as March. The original story follows below.

If you’ve been sharing your Netflix password, expect that to change in 2023.

Netflix released its earnings results on October 18. In that document, one of the sections mentions being able to “create sub-accounts (‘extra member’)” for family and friends.

In fact, we’ve already seen this in some countries, and it looks as if the “feature” will roll out everywhere in the coming months.

Once live, the new feature to “monetize account sharing” will start charging you if anyone outside of your “Netflix Home” is using your account.’

The fee is nominal, at $2.99 per user, but has been met with resistance in the Latin American countries Netflix was trialing it in.

notice of netflix password sharing in honduras
Image: KnowTechie

Earlier this year, Netflix reported that it lost subscribers for the first time in a decade. One of the reasons given at the time was password sharing, with an estimated 100 million households using shared passwords.

That messaging was at odds with other reasons for subscriber loss. Including 600,000 customers across Canada and the US due to price increases, and 700,000 customers when Netflix suspended service in Russia.

Netflix’s clamping down on password sharing seems misguided to us. In a crowded streaming market, the focus should be on subscriber retention.

A constant stream of new content is one way to do that. The streamer also needs to be careful they don’t push subscribers away to rivals. Yes, the ad-supported tier should help keep some people, but is it enough?

It feels like Netflix is focusing on the wrong things, punishing existing users while potentially alienating those who haven’t already subscribed.

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