Netflix cracking down on password sharing with new changes

Netflix subscription prices increasing for those who share passwords

A viewer looking at Netflix.
Netflix are introducing measures to stop password sharing. Credit: Samuel Seaman

Netflix are introducing changes that will prevent UK subscribers from sharing their passwords with others for free.

Users of the global streaming platform will now have to pay £4.99 a month to add members outside their household to their plans.

The change is also being rolled out in the US, where subscribers will have to pay $7.99.

Netflix are hoping this will result in a boost to subscriber numbers, but they’re already seeing backlash in territories where the scheme has arrived.

Spanish customers are being asked to pay nearly six Euros for an additional account, and the American business lost more than a million subscribers in the first three months of the year.

In Canada, however, the company claims it’s seen a boost in paid subscriptions since making the changes in February, as well as seeing an increase in revenue growth.

Netflix previously estimated that more than 100 million households shared passwords with others. It has 233 million subscribers globally, and emailed affected customers about the new system yesterday.

The email said: “Your Netflix account is for you and the people you live with – your household.

“You can easily watch Netflix on the go and when you travel – either on your personal devices or a TV at a hotel or vacation home.

“If you want to share Netflix with someone outside your household, you can transfer a profile to a new membership that they pay for, or buy an extra member for £4.99 a month more.”

Users of the service were not impressed, with one saying via their Twitter account: “Netflix making divorced families, elderly grandparents, college kids who live far away from home etc. pay extra for ‘password sharing’ when they refuse to pay their writers fair royalties is absolutely ridiculous.

“Where do you get off thinking people will be cool with this!”

Another said: “I’ve been a Netflix member since probably 2010. I never cancelled it, even with the price hikes. But I think this password sharing crackdown plan is the last straw.”

The brand’s co-CEO Greg Peters told investors last month: “We see an initial cancel reaction and then we build out of that, both in terms of membership and revenue.

“Borrowers sign up for their own Netflix accounts and existing members purchase that extra member facility for folks that they want to share with.

“So, first of all, it was a strong validation to see consistent results in these new countries, because there are different market characteristics different from each other and also different from the original Latin American rollout countries.”