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HomeInternationalNetflix password sharing crackdown will catch users out with harsh monthly penalties

Netflix password sharing crackdown will catch users out with harsh monthly penalties

People who share their Netflix password with others could be in for a nasty surprise, as the streaming giant is reportedly set to start dishing out monthly fines to anyone who lets their mates log into their account.

The platform will begin by sending alerts out to account holders whose passwords are being used by others before issuing fines.

“If you’ve got a sister, let’s say, that’s living in a different city, you want to share Netflix with her, that’s great,” said Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters.

“We’re not trying to shut down that sharing, but we’re going to ask you to pay a bit more to be able to share with her and so that she gets the benefit and the value of the service, but we also get the revenue associated with that viewing.”

Peters said Netflix will be rolling out the sharing charges over the next year. It is unclear how the company will detect password sharing, or whether users with a VPN could avoid the fines.

An Android smartphone with the Netflix logo visible on screen, taken on February 7, 2019. (Photo by Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images)
Netflix Streaming App On A Smartphone
Netflix is fed up of people sharing their accounts with mates (Image: Future via Getty Images)

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings previously claimed an estimated 100 million households worldwide are using a shared Netflix password.

“We realized with all of the account sharing, which we’ve always had—that’s not a new thing—but when you add that up together, we’re getting pretty high market penetration.

“And that, combined with the competition, is really what we think is driving the lower acquisition and lower growth.”

The company is said to be testing a new feature in Latin America that allows subscribers to add two extra members to their accounts for an additional monthly fee.

Detail of a mans hand scrolling through Netflix on an Apple iPad Pro, taken on March 6, 2020. (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Netflix announced the measures after losing millions of pounds (Image: Future Publishing via Getty Images)

The measures come after Netflix experienced the sharpest drop in its stock price in its history, following 200,000 paid subscribers cancelling their subscription. The company now predicts it could lose an additional 2 million subscribers in the next three months.

In response, it is said to be working on a new cheaper subscription tier which would let you watch Netflix movies and TV shows for under £6 per month—if you sit through some ads.

The move marks a U-turn after the company’s CFO ruled out ads in March, saying “it’s not in our plans right now”.

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