Netflix’s anticipated crackdown on password sharing has finally commenced, with U.S. subscribers and several global markets facing new restrictions. Initially planned for Q1 2023, the introduction of “paid sharing” was delayed to the summer due to cancellations observed in already-implemented markets. Under the new rules, U.S. subscribers must either remove unauthorized users from their Netflix account or pay an additional $7.99 per month for those outside their main household.
Similar changes are set to be implemented in numerous global markets over the next few weeks and months. To facilitate the transition, Netflix offers tools such as device monitoring and password reset options for subscribers. Individuals sharing someone else’s account can utilize the “Transfer Profile” feature to migrate their account information, including viewing history and watchlist, to a separate account.
While the password crackdown has faced backlash from consumers, Netflix remains optimistic about its long-term growth and financial health. The company believes that despite initial cancellations, the enforcement will drive new memberships and generate additional revenue as borrowers opt for their own Netflix accounts, with existing members purchasing extra memberships for sharing purposes.
Netflix initially tested the feature in Latin America before expanding it to Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain earlier this year. The latest rollout covers an even broader range of global markets, including Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Sweden, Taiwan, and others.
Netflix’s decision to delay the crackdown in Q1 may have been motivated by its desire to minimize the impact on net additions. In the previous quarter, the company reported a net increase of 1.75 million global subscribers, falling short of Wall Street estimates of 3 million, bringing the total number of accounts to 232.5 million worldwide.
With the launch announcement aligning with HBO Max’s transition into Max, the combination of HBO and Discovery+ content, and Paramount+ adding Showtime to its service, competition in the streaming landscape is intensifying. While other services offer more content by merging platforms, Netflix is asking viewers to pay additional fees for the same amount of content. The impact of the crackdown on password sharing in the United States, where Netflix faces increased competition, remains to be seen.