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Netflix is ​​testing a crackdown on password sharing

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Netflix Co-Founder and Director Reed Hastings delivers a speech as he opens Netflix France’s new Paris office on January 17, 2020.

Christophe Archambault | AFP | Getty Images

Netflix has never done a big deal with password sharing, but a new test suggests the company may be considering.

Netflix is ​​trying a new policy with some customers, asking certain people to sign up for a separate account if they’re not watching with the subscriber.

The message reads, “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you’ll need your own account to look further.” The Streamable first reported on the process.

According to a spokesman, Netflix tries “hundreds” of tests a year with selected customers. The trial version may not result in a major crackdown on password sharing. The test can be used for both account security and password sharing.

“This test is intended to ensure that people who use Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” said a statement from Netflix.

According to research firm Magid, around 33% of all Netflix users share their password with at least one other person. Netflix’s basic plan is $ 8.99 per month. The company’s standard plan is $ 13.99 per month, which allows users to watch Netflix on two screens at the same time. In the past, Netflix hasn’t done much to stop password sharing as strong growth in subscriber numbers and stock price offsets any concerns about lost revenue.

Netflix announced earlier this year that it had surpassed 200 million subscribers globally, but stocks lagged the S&P 500 this year as investors moved away from growth stocks. Netflix is ​​also having to fend off a number of new streamers – including Disney +, HBO Max from AT&T, Peacock from NBCUniversal, and Paramount + from ViacomCBS – to ensure users don’t switch to competitive services.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC

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Katherine Clark