Netflix account sharing has been a way of life for so long, and in countries like India or Russia, has been encouraged by the streaming giant. Well, it seems that Netflix has had an about-face regarding the matter, and is using a new tool to crack down on shared accounts.
The Streamable (opens in new tab) reports that Netflix is starting to test a new tool that attempts to verify if users are actually in the same household. The efficacy of this test may be suspect.
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News first came out online on March 9 when Twitter user @DOP3Sweet (opens in new tab) shared an image of their TV screen with a sign that Netflix suspected she was not using her own account.
In big text, the alert reads "Start your own Netflix for free today," with passive emphasis on "your own," as Netflix accused the user of using someone else's subscription. The smaller print below states, "If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching."
This is a major change in posture, whereas back in 2016 Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said account sharing was "a positive thing (opens in new tab)," especially in certain markets.
O no. Netflix doing the purge?!? pic.twitter.com/XXlHtfgfsyMarch 9, 2021
Below a "Join Free for 30 Days" button, users can "prove" they're not breaking Netflix's rules.
Your three options are to verify yourself with a code sent to the account holder's email address, phone or verify later. We'd bet that if you pick the third option too many times you're gonna lose it as an option.
Netflix told The Streamable that "This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so." We're guessing Netflix is using this tool for accounts whose IP addresses are too dissimilar. It isn’t clear if users in the test all need to be on the same IP address to be considered in the same household.
Of course, you could just text the account holder and ask them to send you the code that Netflix will send them. We wonder if Netflix will get more aggressive if it suspects you're doing this multiple times.
So, if you've been using your significant other's account, or anyone else's, and you're not in their home when you stream, Netflix (much like Santa) knows when you've been bad. And it's ready to turn off your free ride.
Simultaneous streams per account
|Plan||Price||Simultaneous streams||Video quality|
|Premium||$17.99||4||HD and 4K Ultra HD|
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