One of the things that has gotten us through the pandemic this past year is Netflix. But not all who are watching are the actual subscribers. Some are sharing their account with family members and friends and this is a pretty common practice. But now it looks like the video streaming giant wants people to stop doing that by sending a prompt when you try to log in to an account. This seems to be showing up on smart TV devices initially but we can expect them to most likely prompt users as well on smartphones and tablets.
According to The Streamable, some users are reporting that they have reserved prompts from Netflix. The prompt basically says “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.” Users will then need to verify the account either with an email, a text code, or they should create a new account with a 30-day free trial. A representative from Netflix says that this is to ensure that those who are using the account live in the same household.
In Netflix’ terms of service, you are allowed to share your account but only with those who are living in the same house with you. But of course at one time or another, we’ve allowed other people to share our Netflix account, depending on what plan we’re on that allows simultaneous streaming. The cheapest Basic plan lets you stream on just one device at a time but it doesn’t limit the number of devices an account can log in to.
It’s unclear if Netflix will detect if you’re on the same IP address to be considered you’re in the same household. The verification code can of course still be given by the account owner to whoever is using the account if they’re on standby. But if it’s IP-address based, then that will definitely be a problem (unless they can mask it or something). But in any case, people are definitely not happy that Netflix is seemingly trying to crack down on account sharing.
Netflix is of course not alone when it comes to people sharing their accounts with others. Industry experts are saying that streaming companies will start to be more aggressive in warning people about account and password sharing. Let’s see where this will all lead to.