Social media was ablaze with claims that Netflix had done a u-turn on their plans to crackdown on password sharing. This is not true!
Netflix will restrict password sharing in four more countries: Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.
If customers in those countries want to share their subscription with friends and family who don’t live with them, they must pay an additional fee.
The move follows a crackdown on password sharing in South America and is expected to be rolled out in the UK by the end of March.
Netflix estimates 100 million people around the world use shared accounts.
Netflix said that the loss of revenue from the shared accounts affected its ability to invest in new programming content. According to the company, it plans to expand the new approach to more countries in the near future.
“Over the last year, we’ve been exploring different approaches to address this issue in Latin America, and we’re now ready to roll them out more broadly in the coming months, starting today in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain,” the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
In the past, subscribers could share their login and password easily with friends outside of their homes.
Netflix even seemed to endorse the practice in 2017 when it tweeted, “Love is sharing a password”.
However, Netflix is focusing on increasing revenues as the market for streaming content becomes increasingly competitive, and customers cut back on subscriptions as they pay for higher living costs.
According to the firm, letting multiple people use a single account within a household created confusion about how and when people could share the account.
It said members in Canada, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal would now have to set up a “primary location” for their account and manage who has access to it.
Members would still be able to watch Netflix when they travelled, both on personal devices and logging in in other places, for example, in a hotel, it said.
For CAD$7.99 (£4.92) Canadian subscribers can add an extra member as a “sub account” the blog said.
Netflix chief operating officer Gregory Peters last month acknowledged that the changes would not be “universally popular” and warned investors to expect some cancellations.
He said the firm expected to make up those losses eventually.