Netflix’s anti-password sharing plan and 31-day log in rule enrages users


what is love? According to the streaming giant Netflix In 2017: “Love is sharing a password.”

At least 100 million households worldwide have embraced the spirit, sharing Netflix credentials with friends, family, and loved ones. The “what’s mine is yours” step into a new relationship means sharing the ability to watch the latest true crime documentary or reality TV. Great shows about stay-at-home parents and their kids. You knew your relationship was really over when your ex changed his Netflix password and locked you out.

But that was then, and this is now.

The California-based streaming company is moving to crack down on password sharing — insisting that “Netflix accounts are for people who live together in the same household,” with people who have a They do not live at the same address They require their own accounts – leading users to lament the end of an era and recall stories of love, friendship and breakup made possible by shared passwords.

One lamented on Twitter that sharing Netflix passwords used to be “one step closer to ‘I do.’ Userwhile the other noted: “Netflix really went from ‘Love is sharing your password’ to ‘If you don’t return to your parents’ house across the country within 31 days, we’ll block your access.’

The latest backlash came after Netflix inadvertently updated its help center page for some countries on Wednesday, telling users to disconnect from Wi-Fi networks at least once every 31 days. Have to sign in to ensure their devices have access to their account. . Devices that are not associated with the account’s primary location may be blocked from Netflix, unless the account owner pays more to add an additional member.

Netflix is ​​set to crack down on account sharing. what will happen now?

The policy sparked outrage among global users, and Netflix stepped in to say that the policy had not yet been implemented everywhere. “For a short time yesterday, a Help Center article containing information that only applies to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru went live in other countries. We have since updated it, ” Netflix spokesperson MoMo Zhou said. The company hasn’t given a date for when the change might apply to customers in the US or elsewhere. According to Netflix, about 30 million households in the US and Canada share passwords.

However, the damage seems to have been done, with Netflix users around the world arguing that the approach misrepresents what modern households are supposed to be – which often includes long-distance couples or kids in college. Includes families, as well as individual consumers who travel for work or not. t has a fixed residence – as are

“I’ve had netflix for 13 years, seriously going to cancel it. My sister and I share an account, does it really matter if we don’t live together? Still 2 People are using it any way they can. Scary.” Commented A person.

“This policy comes with one assumption: that “household” has a commonly understood, universal meaning and that the software can determine who is a member and who is not, Commented one more

Others, including gymnastics star Simone Biles, have spoken of the sheer pain of having to log back into Netflix every 31 days to verify their primary location and credentials.

Created by late night talk show hosts in the US. The jokes about the decision, urging Netflix executives to change their minds. Others have joked that they’ll need to direct “Happy Monthly Netflix Login Day.”

Consumers also decried the inconvenience to those who travel frequently for work — a particular concern amid the rise of remote working.

“As someone who is often away from home for long periods of time, ease of use was a big deal,” one Reddit user wrote, adding that he plans to cancel his account “and Netflix.” Intends to use three months a year, because in certain situations it is too much trouble.

Others are concerned about the data privacy implications, with digital rights activist Evan Greer Tweeting: “Has anyone done a deep dive into the privacy and security implications of Netflix fingerprinting your home Wi-Fi network and essentially recording when you’re home or not… just the password to stop sharing?”

Netflix knows that you share your password. It’s trying a way to stop you.

The streaming giant has argued that “monetizing free viewing” is essential to its future. “Today’s widespread account sharing (100M+ households) undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix and grow our business,” it said in a letter to investors last month. Gives.”

However, users have accused Netflix of hypocrisy, pointing to Netflix’s past messaging, which has sometimes appeared to celebrate or wink at password sharing.

At the CES technology show in 2016, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company “loves” that people share Netflix accounts and described it as “a positive thing, not a negative thing,” according to CNET.

And in 2020, a Twitter user said that her brother’s ex-partner had been “stealing our Netflix for the past two months” and had named her account “Settings” to avoid detection. “I’m not even mad. I’m really disappointed in myself for believing that an account called “settings” would legitimately be Netflix settings,” said the user.

Netflix’s official account responded simply: “Respect.”

In 2021, following a pandemic-related boom in demand for streaming services, and new rival streaming services such as HBOmax, Netflix began testing ways to limit password sharing among some users.

The company has acknowledged that it may face an initial wave of cancellations as a result of a crackdown on password sharing. However, citing some success in growing engagement in Latin America following a paid-sharing test that began last year, the company said “as borrower households begin to activate their stand-alone accounts and additional As member accounts are added, we expect the overall revenue to improve.”

Netflix adds 7.7M subscribers, more than forecast CEO Reid Hastings resigns

And, while the company had a rough start to 2022, it added 7.7 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2022. Growth was largely due to the success of content such as the TV series “Wednesday,” an Addams Family spinoff, and the royal documentary “Harry and Meghan,” both hits with global audiences. Netflix now has 231 million paid subscribers worldwide.

Rachel Lerman contributed to this report.

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