Netflix promises to crack down on account sharing after a better-than-expected Q4.
Netflix has evolved drastically since it first launched as a DVD mail-rental service in 1997. Since transitioning to an online streaming platform just ten years after launching, Netflix has since become one of the biggest streaming giants online and even announced a new high record number of incoming subscribers with 7.4 million new accounts created during Q4. Yet, despite its growth, Netflix is still a business, and it is following through on its recent promise to crack down on account sharing, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Though it goes against Netflix’s terms and conditions, account sharing is pretty common among Netflix subscribers. It’s normal for families in multiple households to share passwords and split the cost of the subscription. With the changes that Netflix aims to roll out soon, this would make account sharing in different households no longer possible.
However, despite the ban, Netflix will have an option for families who want to continue account sharing. For an extra fee, families in different households can keep the same account and continue watching from their previous profiles. No pricing has yet been released as to what this option might cost.
With Netflix cracking down on account sharing, many have worried about what that might mean for their watching habits. It’s common for people to have Netflix logged in on multiple devices, such as their televisions, phones, and laptops or tablets. Netflix has assured its subscribers that even with the new changes, users will still be able to access their profiles from multiple devices, even while traveling.
It is estimated that more than 100 million households participate in Netflix account sharing, which Netflix believes sabotages its business growth and ability to invest in and enhance itself as a company. Netflix intends to begin rolling out the new ban on account sharing starting in April 2023. The company has already tested the changes in other countries, including Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
While testing its Netflix account sharing ban in these countries, the streaming platform also tested a new feature that allows members of a previous account to roll over their profile into a new account. This means that users will still be able to access their viewing history and their “my list” selections, even if they have to create a new account that isn’t shared with family or friends.
While Netflix understands that the ban on account sharing will not be popular with many users, they expect that it will bring in more revenue for the company in the long run, which will allow them to place more funds in other areas, such as producing more Netflix Originals. Currently, roughly 50% of the content on Netflix is original television and movies produced by the streaming service, with that percentage increasing every month.
Although Netflix is removing the possibility for account sharing, company executive chairman Ted Sarandos says the streaming service is working on finding the proper price points and plans so that their content is accessible to all without the excessive mooching.