The Netflix Password Sharing Crackdown Is Closing In
The Netflix password-sharing crackdown is now expanding rapidly after the streaming giant announced new restrictive measures in North America and Europe.
In a new blog post, innocuously titled ‘An Update on Sharing,’ Chengyi Long, Netflix director of product innovation, announced new Netflix profile sharing restrictions in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. The crackdown now spans four continents after Netflix debuted restrictions in Latin America last month.
Long explains that people in these countries will no longer be able to share their Netflix passwords with others living outside their home without paying a new ‘extra member’ monthly fee. This varies significantly:
- Canada – $7.99 CAD ($6)
- Portugal – 3.99 euros ($4.30)
- Spain – 5.99 euros ($6.50)
- New Zealand – $7.99 NZD ($5.10)
The extra member fee covers two people you don’t live with. Each person will get their own Netflix profile with login, password and personalized recommendations.
All Netflix customers in these countries will also have to set a primary household location. When members of that household travel, they will be issued with a passcode to provide temporary access. Any device that doesn’t ‘check in’ with Netflix from the primary household location at least once every 31 days will lose access.
Netflix will enforce this geo-fencing through IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity. While portable devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones may be able to skirt these rules in some instances, the primary target of the crackdown is TVs.
“It’s worth noting that this will not be a universally popular move, so there will be current members that are unhappy with this move,” admitted Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters, in a conference call with investors in January. “We’ll see a bit of a cancel reaction to that. We think of this as similar to what we see when we raise prices.”
The varied pricing and selective rollout suggest that Netflix is still fine-tuning the terms of its password-sharing crackdown before it hits critical markets, like the UK and US. That said, the company is clearly commited to the move and the speed and scale shown so far means that day is coming soon.