The streaming service is preparing to launch a ‘paid sharing’ scheme
·SEO Editor, Yahoo UK
Tue, 16 May 2023 at 11:49 am BST
Netflix has confirmed it will launch an imminent crackdown on users sharing their passwords.
The streaming giant is expected to force subscribers to pay an extra fee to share their account with people outside their household.
Here’s everything you need to know about the controversial new move.
When will Netflix stop password sharing?
Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing is due to come into force by July. However, a new report by Financial Times suggested it may happen as soon as the end of May in the UK. The FT says Netflix recently met with telecoms groups who offer the streaming platform as part of their bundled services, to brief them on the incoming changes.
The new ‘paid sharing’ scheme was first launched in several Latin American countries last year, before being introduced in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain in February.
In its latest results statement to shareholders, Netflix said: “We’re pleased with the most recent launches of paid sharing, and while we could have launched broadly in Q1 [the first three months of 2023], we found opportunities to improve the experience for members.”
According to the Netflix terms of service, account details should “not be shared with individuals beyond your household”. However, the streaming firm has avoided enforcing a crackdown until now.
CEO Reed Hastings previously said he was comfortable with users sharing their passwords. “Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with,” he said in 2016, “because there’s so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids. So there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”
The u-turn comes after company lost an estimated 500,000 UK subscribers last year, despite launching the latest seasons of hit shows such as The Crown, Bridgerton and Stranger Things.
The cost-of-living crisis has forced many households to cut back on spending, while Netflix is also battling competition from rivals such as Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+ and NOW.
Last February, the company hiked the price of its basic and standard plan by £1 a month to £6.99 and £10.99 respectively, while the premium tier went up by £2 to £15.99. In November, it introduced a cheaper ad-supported tier, costing £4.99 a month.