The video streaming giant Netflix is stepping up a notch in its effort to crack down on password-sharing by enforcing its brand new rules against this practice in four more countries.
In a blog post published yesterday, the company announced that users in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain will also have their accounts scrutinized to identify users who are not part of the household.
The new anti-password-sharing rules require that a primary location is established for the account. Once this has been done, the system will monitor if the devices that are accessing the platform are connected to the same Wi-Fi as the main account and those that are not will be immediately kicked out.
Those who would still like to share the service with a member outside the registered household will still be able to do it by paying an extra fee that varies depending on the country. For example, Canadian users have to pay CAD$ 7.99 a month for every extra member while Portuguese and Spanish users will be forced to pay €3.99 and €5.99 respectively.
Netflix has been cautiously rolling out these changes as many of its users have already criticized the firm’s initiative and have threatened to unsubscribe if they are forced to pay an additional fee to incorporate a new user.
Netflix Backed Down from Enforcing these Rules in the US
Earlier this month, the company shared details about its new anti-password-sharing practices for United States users and then said they were mistakenly uploaded to the site after numerous complaints flooded social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok.
According to the guidelines published back then, there were some exceptions to the single-household rule. For example, if a household member is traveling, he can have access to the account as long as the main user verifies the connection back home. Otherwise, the external connection will be automatically blocked by the system as the IP address will be different.
To ensure that users have some options on the table if they are forced out of the accounts they had been sharing with others for years, Netflix rolled out a cheaper ad-supported subscription package called Basic with Ads that supports a single registered device.
This tier is only available in a handful of countries but may soon be accessible in all latitudes, especially if the company plans to keep enforcing these rules in the foreseeable future. A Netflix spokesperson told The Verge earlier this month that it planned to enforce its new paid-sharing rules progressively during what remains of the first quarter.
In addition, Netflix also launched a new feature that allows users to transfer their personal profiles to a new account. This is particularly important for those who cherish their viewing history, watchlists, and personalized recommendations.
Can Netflix Succeed at Cracking Down on Password-Sharing?
Netflix (NFLX) has stated on numerous occasions that its estimates point to over 100 million people using an account from somebody else outside their household to access the video streaming platform.
Cracking down on password sharing successfully and without causing a mass exodus of users can increase the firm’s revenues dramatically in the future. The Los Gatos-based streaming platform has been approaching the issue somehow wisely but that does not necessarily mean that everybody will be happy about it or will opt to open an account once there are locked out.
In social media, users have been making sarcastic comments about once again being forced to resort to illicit content downloads from websites such as The Pirate Bay – an infamous platform that, through the use of peer-to-peer connections, allows users to access movies, TV shows, software licenses, and other similar files that others make available in the form of torrents.
For now, Netflix’s strategy seems to be working alright as the platform surprisingly added 7.7 million new paid subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2022.
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