Netflix is now detailing how it aims to maintain password sharing within a household while cracking down on outside usage. The company aims to curtail account sharing this year by asking people to pay extra money to use the streaming service outside the household for extended periods of time.
The streaming giant has shared terms detailing how it plans to control the experience within a household. It has updated its FAQ pages for countries where it is already testing extra membership fees for account sharing — Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.
These new terms ask people to define a primary location through their TV. All the accounts and devices should be connected to the same Wi-Fi as the TV.
“A primary location is set by a TV that is signed into your account and is connected to your Wi-Fi network. All other devices signed into your account on that Wi-Fi network will be associated with your primary location and will be able to use Netflix,” it says.
If a user doesn’t set a primary location or doesn’t have a TV, Netflix will automatically set a primary location based on IP address, device IDs and activity.
After that, people living in this home who want to use Netflix on their own devices have to launch the app at home at least once every 31 days.
“To ensure that your devices are associated with your primary location, connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days,” the company says on its support page.
But what if you grabbed an iPad before leaving the house for a long train ride but you rarely use this iPad at home? Chances are the device won’t be associated with your household when you try to watch something on the go. In that case, you can ask the main account holder to verify the device for you. The account holder will receive a code that they can relay to the person who is traveling. If the verification is successful the traveling member can watch Netflix for seven more days without any additional prompt.
It’s unclear if you can request temporary codes several times in a row. For instance, some students would rather request a code from their parents every week instead of paying for Netflix. These conditions also prevent folks from using Netflix through VPN connections for a long period of time.
The streaming company has made a ton of efforts to get more paying users on its platform. In November, it launched a cheaper $6.99 ad-supported monthly plan in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Korea and Brazil. Meanwhile, it has also launched tools to kick devices off a subscription and transfer a profile from one membership to another to stop account sharing.
All these efforts have brought in more subscribers to the service. During its recent Q4 2022 quarterly results, the company said it added 7.7 million subscribers — much higher than the anticipated 4.5 million additions.
Netflix will go through a product overhaul under the new co-CEO Greg Peters (formerly COO) after founder Reed Hastings stepped down from the post last month. At the same time, the company said that it will crack down on password sharing “more broadly” in the coming months. Extra member fees will likely come to more countries soon.
Update 02/02/2023 7.50 PM IST: After the publishing of the story, Netflix clarified that it has not finalized the policy for US-based users. “Later in Q1, we expect to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly,” the company told The Verge. The company briefly updated the US page with the above-mentioned rules but retracted them later.