Netflix Password sharing crackdown

Netflix lost a lot of subscribers and is now talking about cracking down on password sharing with people who don’t live in the subscriber’s household. What I can’t figure out is which group of people they will be trying to crack down on - it’s probably easy enough to cut someone who has no relationship with me ( my son’s ex-girlfriend , for example) off my account by logging the account out and requiring the userid and password to be entered. But is that the only situation they are looking to crack down on? If they are trying to crack down on everyone who does not actually live in the subscriber’s household, I’m not sure how that would work if a relative or friend was watching on my account. If I’m willing to give them the login details, I can’t see how Netflix would be able to distinguish between me watching while I am visiting and that person watching when I am not around.

Googling, one way that they’ve tried to crackdown is to require the viewer to enter within a short period a passcode that is emailed or texted to the account holder. That won’t prevent all account sharing but it will break it for some people.

Even that would be annoying as heck. Our account is in my wife’s name so I need to hassle her to use our Netflix account? Or my kids can’t use it if we’re not home?

Of course, I’m also boggled that Netflix’s master plan to get customers is “Raise prices and lower subscription value”. If you had your mom or elderly aunt or whoever using your account and now they can’t, you have less incentive to keep it yourself since there’s no “We can’t drop Netflix, my dad uses that” factor.

Supposedly they are considering a cheaper, ad-supported tier.

I just read an article which mentioned that Netflix is testing a model with two guest/shared accounts for main subscribers for an additional fee of $2-3 on some smaller markets (Chile, Costa Rica and Peru). Maybe that’ll become their model worldwide.

Netflix’s biggest problem is lack of growth. Is that because pretty much everyone is already signed up or because more are deciding that they are only going to sign up for X number of streaming services and Netflix is not making the cut anymore?

If the former and they are the must have streamer then the only way to increase revenue are these sorts of tactics. Raise rates, force adult children to each have their own accounts, so on.

But if the latter then they are going to exacerbate the crisis. I think that is the case. Netflix is not a must have service right now. If I had to drop something it would likely be what would drop. Take away value and they will lose more customers.

i imagine that if you have an IP address that is New Jersey and someone logs in with an IP address in Idaho they will assume you are not in the same household.

It’s common for people to watch stuff on their Netflix accounts when on business trips. I’ve done it. It’s well within the terms of service. So no, having an IP address in Idaho does not mean it’s not the New Jerseyian subscriber who is watching.

Some streaming services, like Disney Plus or HBO Max are part of companies with other revenue streams. But Netflix is a pure player in the streaming business, so they have no other revenue sources, though they could sell their programs for broadcast in other markets.

They could look for patterns. Like New Jersey and Idaho logged in at the same time, for six weeks.

Sure - but I could be visiting my mother in Idaho for three months while the rest of my household is still at home in New Jersey. I don’t see how Netflix could tell the difference between that and me sharing with mom.The terms of service don’t require me to watch only at my home.

Many (most paid) services already make password sharing hard. The change is that Netflix is moving from ignoring the issue, to becoming more strict. So one might expect the usual range of road-humps.

Say if they detect a change in IP number, two factor login.
Maybe occasional random two factor login.
Checking for concurrent logins from different IP addresses.

No doubt they are being squeezed by the other services. Something that was always going to happen. They have a very odd presence here in Oz. We know that they don’t provide the same range of movies as they do in other markets. But you can’t find out what the range is without a subscription. Sure, you can subscribe and then cancel. But it is a clearly annoying presentation. Personally I haven’t subscribed.

I’m not going to say none of them make password sharing hard - but I haven’t encountered one that did . Both the ones I pay for and the ones I get free along with some other service allow multiple screens and allow me to watch when I’m away from home

Well, Disney told me i wasn’t supposed to share with people outside my household. Back when i did let my son use my service, Netflix never told me not to share.

I feel like the very first step they should take in “cracking down” is to tell customers that they shouldn’t do it.

Maybe they have done so when i wasn’t paying attention. I haven’t shared with anyone outside my household in years. But what they have done is limit the number of screens you can use at once, and the number of devices that are allowed to download content. (For watching on an airplane, or anyplace else where you don’t have good wifi.) That makes it cost something to share, at least.

It may be that just the announcement will drive up subscriptions.
All services tread a line. Some sharing is always going to happen. Netflix just need to balance the risk of annoying the legitimate users against missed revenue. The point of any crackdown is to convince users who can afford to pay to actually do so. Those that can’t afford to, or are of a mind to never pay are not lost income, so there is no point tightening access to drive them out. Treating your customers as potential criminals is a great way lose them, so there is a balance to be found.

The plan, as I understand it, is to monetize password sharing by charging less to share the password with someone else than a full new account. At least, that is how the trial works that they are attempting right now in select countries.

Except what they might attempt in countries with lower average incomes isn’t necessarily what they plan for relatively richer US customers.

Yeah, it’s hard to dig around the different articles, but from what it sounds like the CEO basically said “We’re looking at different options to implement sometime in the future.” Hardly the “crackdown” that every article is calling it.

I don’t know why they don’t use the model that subscription software like Adobe use - ie limiting how many devises can play Netflix at once, or how many can be logged into Netflix at any one time. Maybe that’s harder with TVs than computers, but TVs are pretty much computers now anyway.

I imagine it is one thing for Netflix to see a new IP address logon for a week and one that happens over the course of many weeks or months.