How will the Netflix password crackdown impact user experience

Netflix is undoubtedly one of the best streaming services and pioneers of binge streaming.The streaming giant was founded in 1997 in California by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. By the end of 2020, Netflix had 207 million subscribers worldwide.

These 207 million subscribers do not include the users that are sharing someone else’s Netflix account. If we were to have them, the number would increase.

To accommodate the different tastes of such a huge subscriber base, Netflix offers an enormous library consisting of over 4,000 films and 47,000 episodes.

Unfortunately, Netflix’s content catalogue is distributed, divided, and categorized region/country-wise. Meaning, it is possible that you may not find the movie your friend living abroad can easily watch on Netflix.

Due to various licensing and copyright policies, Netflix is forced to create different Netflix library catalogues for every 190 countries it is available in.

Read: How to Browse Different Genres on Netflix

Fret not. By seeking virtual private network assistance, users can easily swap their IP addresses and watch TV shows or movies from different region’s Netflix libraries.

However, selecting the best VPN for this job can be quite hectic. Therefore, we have already compiled a list of the best working VPN for Netflix just for you.

While using a VPN and sharing your Netflix account’s password with friends has its charm. But, unfortunately, it is about to change. The streaming service giant is planning to test the rollout of the Password Sharing Crackdown.

Why is Netflix enforcing this new policy?

Accordingly to a report by Magid, about 33% of Netflix users share their account passwords with at least one other person.

Netflix suspects that the account is being shared between the family members and with aunts, exes, friends, uncles, and anyone that comes in between.

The streaming service wants you to only share the account with your family members living in the same household. This is probably to ensure the most optimized revenue generation.

Right now, the decision about implementing this rule across the entire network is still pending.

Read: How to make your Netflix perfectly secure

Many other streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO Max have started to mimic this new policy.

These services already allow users to create multiple profiles within a single subscription. However, these profiles should only be used by family members.

Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings said in a 2016 webcast:

“Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with because there’s so much legitimate password sharing – like you are sharing with your spouse, with your kids, so there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”

Although Netflix was pretty clear regarding password sharing, the streaming giant never condoned the excessive abuse of this loophole. On the contrary, they continuously think about ways to prevent it.

What does the password crackdown mean for users?

Only those users who do not have legitimate access to the account will be blocked from accessing the service.

A confirmation code from Netflix will be sent via email, and those users that can enter it into their account will continue to use Netflix normally. Only the users that can’t provide it will be immediately logged out of their account.

If this policy gets completely implemented, then the users who are sharing passwords will have to sign up for the service and create new accounts for themselves.

Netflix can also confirm whether a group of users using the same account residing in the same house or not. They can do that by checking the IP addresses each time someone uses the account from anywhere.

Adopting such techniques makes it clear that the number of users accessing the streaming service without a subscription will decrease. However, to continue to enjoy Netflix’s enormous content library, users will have to register for an official Netflix account.

Read: Is VPN the best way to hide your data on the Internet

In 2020 alone, 37 million new subscribers joined the Netflix family. With the password crackdown, their subscribers will inevitably increase immensely.

To keep the freedom of sharing alive, Netflix can also increase the subscription prices, force the users to purchase the new account, or it all could backfire, and users could switch to other streaming services.

It seems Netflix is willing to take the risk of losing a few subscribers by continuing with this password crackdown policy.

Final Thoughts

As research between the wealth of data, employing consumer psychology hypotheses, and machine learning revealed that the password crackdown policy is the most recent attempt made by Netflix to improve user experience and stop ineligible users from using the service, users living in the same household can continue to enjoy the service without any worries.

With that being said, we think it is about time to subscribe to a personal account for the users who are sharing accounts. After all, Netflix is not all that expensive anyway.


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