Netflix has announced plans to crack down on password sharing, with the streaming giant set to begin implementing new measures to limit the practice.
“Later in Q1, we expect to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly. Today’s widespread account sharing (100M+ households) undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business,” announced streaming giant Netflix as it announced changes to its password sharing rules.
This move could potentially see millions of people blocked from viewing certain things on the site, as the company is cracking down on these types of accounts.
Netflix has already tested a feature that prevents users from sharing a password with friends or family in certain parts of the world, and now the company has confirmed that it will be rolled out to even more areas.
The Express reports that this “controversial” update will mean millions of users who watch content free of charge will now be asked to pay.
To make things easier, Netflix will offer an option to add “paid sharing” which is less than a full subscription – although over 100 million users will be affected by it.
However, Netflix is trying to sweeten the deal by adding features such as easy ways to transfer profiles to a new account and being able to monitor devices using accounts:
It’s not yet known when the rules will come into force or which areas will be affected.
As well as this change, Netflix also announced that more people are actually signing up to the streaming site despite expectations that the opposite would be true.
The addition of new movies such as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and the Harry & Meghan documentary appear to have encouraged over seven million people to subscribe. Things may have also been boosted by the new advert-supported plan that now makes watching content cost less.
In an interview with Forbes, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said, “We want to make sure we’re able to continue to offer more great content. We’ll continue to look at the situation and see from a customer happiness point of view, but also from a business point of view, what’s the right outcome.”
Some experts have questioned whether these measures will be effective in stopping password sharing, as many users have found ways to circumvent such restrictions.
Others have pointed out that password sharing has become so widespread that it may be difficult for Netflix to effectively target all offenders.
In addition to cracking down on password sharing, Netflix has also announced plans to expand its content offerings in the coming year.
The company has invested heavily in original content in recent years, and it plans to continue to do so in order to attract new subscribers and keep existing ones engaged.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for our members,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We know that people enjoy sharing Netflix, and we’re flattered, but we do want people to pay for their own account.”
As the streaming wars continue to heat up, with major players like Disney, Apple, and WarnerMedia entering the market, it will be important for Netflix to protect its revenue stream and ensure that all its paying customers are getting the service they paid for.
While it remains to be seen whether the company’s new measures will be successful in limiting password sharing, it is clear that Netflix is committed to finding a solution to this growing problem.