Netflix is testing new anti-account sharing measures on some users

Polycount

Posts: 2,870   +576
Staff member
In context: Account sharing is a common practice among Netflix users, but for obvious reasons, the streaming service has never been a big fan of it. Users who share accounts with friends and family practically eliminate the need for those people to subscribe with their own, separate profiles. This lost revenue is something Netflix hopes to combat soon.

At least, if a recent test it's working on pans out. According to GammaWire, Netflix is displaying a warning to some users who log in with accounts that aren't their own. The warning says "If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching."

A follow-up piece of text says "Is this your account? We'll send you a verification code." Below that message, there are three buttons, two of which let you receive the code via email or text. The third just says "verify later."

Presumably, Netflix is relying on IP addresses to determine whether or not the currently logged-in user is part of the account owner's household. If so, VPNs might be able to get around the restriction. And, of course, even if you're using the account of someone who lives in a different area (or even country), you could always just ask them to read off the verification code for you.

Still, for Netflix, this test is probably a step in the right direction; at least, as far as revenue is concerned. The company also claims it's hoping this anti-account sharing measure will boost security. The rationale here is, if somebody discovers your login credentials and attempts to watch from another location, theoretically, this could stop them in their tracks and alert you to the breach.

Netflix hasn't rolled this test out worldwide yet, and we don't know exactly which regions it's live in yet. However, provided the public outcry against it isn't too significant, we wouldn't be surprised to see it become a permanent fixture of the service in the near future. It only poses a mild inconvenience to truly committed account sharers, and it might just increase subscriptions a bit. That's a win for Netflix no matter what.

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messy

Posts: 25   +46
TechSpot Elite
Good. come on people, it's what... $8-$11/month? (I haven't looked at prices in a long time). get your own account. I'm really surprised it took this long. I wonder if it's being targeted too - because sharing an account IS a good way to get a new person hooked to a point where they actually will get their own account - aim this at people with solid usage patterns :)
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,032   +1,526
TechSpot Elite
Good. come on people, it's what... $8-$11/month? (I haven't looked at prices in a long time). get your own account. I'm really surprised it took this long. I wonder if it's being targeted too - because sharing an account IS a good way to get a new person hooked to a point where they actually will get their own account - aim this at people with solid usage patterns :)

While I understand from a business perspective what they're doing here - it would be nice to continue to leech off of my buddy's netflix account due to every single media company having their own paid, siloed streaming service.

Companies like Netflix may remain safe for a while due to the high level quality they output - but with every media company releasing their own streaming platform, the old DirecTV pricing isn't looking to be so bad when you add all of them up.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
So il probably cancel my Netflix then as I don’t really watch it and only keep it going as a mate, my brother and an ex girlfriend are still using it all in different households.

Netflix used to not care about this and that was cool. I think they’d make the most profit if they did that but let’s face it they probably know what’s best for their business than we do.

Oh well, I won’t miss the service. Actually the only service I use is prime these days.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 334   +459
While I understand from a business perspective what they're doing here - it would be nice to continue to leech off of my buddy's netflix account due to every single media company having their own paid, siloed streaming service.

Companies like Netflix may remain safe for a while due to the high level quality they output - but with every media company releasing their own streaming platform, the old DirecTV pricing isn't looking to be so bad when you add all of them up.

No Direct TV still looks bad even if it was the same price as netflix. There is nothing to watch on cable tv, you have no choice on what you want to watch and when. And its full of adds. I decided to get cable for a few months for football but honestly just ended up getting rid of it. No one wanted to watch it and when I would try to watch it I'd get tired of it easy. Just nothing to watch and felt like every 10min I was getting an ad.

Honestly you are better off paying for Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Disney plus. And if you want some extra stuff switch between HBO Max, CBS all access, and the other few streaming services. You miss out on nothing going this route and you get better content that you can pick and watch any time.

If you are under 40yo and paying for cable tv, why? What does it have that you really want? Its a garbage service.

Luckily with my wife going to school I get the student discounts. Hulu and showtime is free with Spotify for a very cheap price, same goes for CBS student discount. Disney Plus and Netflix I pay full price for, its not much. Prime I have my work pay for as I buy so much crap for work through that account. So my streaming bill is only around 30bucks a month. But even if I was paying 60/month for streaming services its still a better deal than cable. Cable could be 15/m and I would still not get it. Like I said before it is trash with nothing on it. Quality has only gotten worse with anything good going to streaming services.
 

NicktheWVAHick

Posts: 306   +454
Great. Now I will need more free money from the federal government in the form of a larger COVID stimulus check to keep watching Netflix. How am I supposed to stay unemployed if I can’t watch Netflix, play Xbox games and surf on my iPhone all day long? I’ll be forced to go back to working for a living. That’s just not right.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,167   +6,925
It will be interesting to see exactly how many subscribers they will lose / gain over this move. THAT will say a lot about their popularity .....
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,661   +4,143
Good. come on people, it's what... $8-$11/month? (I haven't looked at prices in a long time). get your own account. I'm really surprised it took this long. I wonder if it's being targeted too - because sharing an account IS a good way to get a new person hooked to a point where they actually will get their own account - aim this at people with solid usage patterns :)
If you have an epidemic of users sharing accounts, that shoudl tell you that your service is overpriced for what it offers. Which it is, netflix today is a shadow of what it was 7 years ago.

The proper response here is not to crack down on sharing, but to fix the catalog so people want to purchase your product. Going after users doesnt work, it only pisses them off.
 

antiproduct

Posts: 194   +229
I'd imagine people would just need to setup a proxy email account as their account for this, then just have it forward all incoming email to multiple accounts. There you go, defeated their plan. If they asked anything about it just say "oh, so and so watches stuff at work/school/friends house on their phone."
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,080   +779
If you have an epidemic of users sharing accounts, that shoudl tell you that your service is overpriced for what it offers. Which it is, netflix today is a shadow of what it was 7 years ago.

The proper response here is not to crack down on sharing, but to fix the catalog so people want to purchase your product. Going after users doesnt work, it only pisses them off.

With the cancelations of many good shows and ending shows after a season or two this is really true. I pay for mine but share it with my cousin who lives in another country, a friend that lives in the same country and my parents (live at home...still...@27 **** halfway to 50). But looking at cancelling once I move out.

I just dont see it working great. For the price I am paying, I should be able to share with family members.
 

brucek

Posts: 869   +1,255
Sounds like a measured response to me. Just inconvenient enough that the people who can easily afford their own subscription get a little nudge to do so, but leaves enough workarounds so those who truly need to share it to make it affordable still have options.
 

eforce

Posts: 401   +512
If I can't login to friends Netflix to watch something I'll use an alternative way to get hold of the movie/TV program.
 

bwtanker

Posts: 7   +1
I will not buy a subscription to Netflix if this is what it comes to.I hardly watch it anyway. All it boils down to is they want more money but because of this they may lose more money
 

colemar

Posts: 13   +6
Good. come on people, it's what... $8-$11/month? (I haven't looked at prices in a long time). get your own account.

16 EUR/mon in Italy if you want 4K. Too much for me, because I only use it sporadically, perhaps 2 hours every three days.
I would like to have 4K with some cap on watching time, but Netflix thinks otherwise.
 

NoLifeDGenerate

Posts: 29   +16
This will only annoy casual users technical users will work around this quickly.

Yep. They're only doing it because of all the other greedy studios pulling content to start their own services. When people stop being stupid sheep signing up for everything, maybe we can get back to just having Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon like it should be instead of every bloody studio having their own subscription.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 616   +387
Anything that makes logging in more difficult or time consuming will not go over well with many people, including me. Granted, I'm not account sharing but still. I'm not jumping through a bunch of hoops just to use something I pay for. Logging in needs to be easy and unintrusive. If they do anything like TwitchTV they lose my business like TwitchTV did.
 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 220   +145
If you have an epidemic of users sharing accounts, that shoudl tell you that your service is overpriced for what it offers. Which it is, netflix today is a shadow of what it was 7 years ago.

The proper response here is not to crack down on sharing, but to fix the catalog so people want to purchase your product. Going after users doesnt work, it only pisses them off.

No many people will still not pay if they aren't forced to. Some portion of the public will steal anything not bolted down and not think anything of it. Also if someone sharing an account is watching enough content for Netflix to be concerned about it it's probably enough to prove the content they are watching is worth paying for. If it wasn't good enough free wouldn't be cheap enough.
 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 220   +145

Anything that makes logging in more difficult or time consuming will not go over well with many people, including me. Granted, I'm not account sharing but still. I'm not jumping through a bunch of hoops just to use something I pay for. Logging in needs to be easy and unintrusive. If they do anything like TwitchTV they lose my business like TwitchTV did.

If you aren't sharing an account how will this make it more difficult for you to log in?
 

NoLifeDGenerate

Posts: 29   +16
No many people will still not pay if they aren't forced to. Some portion of the public will steal anything not bolted down and not think anything of it. Also if someone sharing an account is watching enough content for Netflix to be concerned about it it's probably enough to prove the content they are watching is worth paying for. If it wasn't good enough free wouldn't be cheap enough.

I wouldn't pay Netflix anything either after they completely ruined the final season of House of Cards just because they didn't want Kevin Spacey involved. Not to mention the fact some of their other content hasn't been released on disc. Money is money. Why not offer Polar or Punisher on disc for collectors? It's an untapped market for the sake of trying to sell a few more subs. They need to learn that people aren't going to sign up just because they hold that content as exclusive.

I wonder if Punisher will get pulled anyway once their deal with Marvel runs out. That's what happens to licensed videogames because the industry refuses to make more sensible contracts for the 21st century.
 

pcmasterrrrrace9

Posts: 20   +5
I'm subscribed to the premium plan (the only plan that allows ultra HD streaming) which allows you to share it to 4 screens and decided to share it with my Mom and Brothers. They have their own profile set up on my account but they are living in a different city. I'm wondering how it will affect current subcribers with this kind of arrangement.

If only they allow ULTRA HD streaming on their basic plan. It's not that I want to watch 4 different things at the same time.