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Netflix Cracks Down on Account Sharing and Retires Its DVDs All at Once

The streamer is making big changes in the coming months.
  • Netflix is finally going through with its promise to crack down on password sharing. In February, the streamer claimed it “accidentally” posted new policies regarding shared accounts, saying that those guidelines were only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru at the time. According to The Hollywood Reporter, those same policies will roll out to other countries, including the United States, throughout the second quarter of the year — so, any day now.

    Under the new system, primary Netflix users can add up to two members outside of their household to their plan for a fee — so far that’s been CAD$7.99 per month per person in Canada, NZD$7.99 in New Zealand, 3.99 Euros in Portugal, and 5.99 Euros in Spain. Back in February, CNBC reported that Netflix would use IP addresses and device IDs to identify devices as part of the same household and that every month all “household” devices would have to connect to the primary user’s wi-fi to maintain access. Netflix has not yet confirmed whether that action will be part of its new account sharing guidelines or when exactly any of these policies will be put into place.

    Once again Twitter users are resurfacing a 2017 tweet from Netflix that read: “Love is sharing a password.” Meanwhile other streamers are using the opportunity to make their presence known — Pluto TV responded to the news by tweeting “what is a password.”

    The introduction of this new paid sharing plan comes just as Netflix announces the end of an era. As of September 29, 2023, Netflix will shutter the DVD-by-mail service the company was built on. Ultimately, both of these moves were made in the name of increasing the company’s profits.

    “Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members but as the business continues to shrink that’s going to become increasingly difficult,” co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote in a statement. “We feel so privileged to have been able to share movie nights with our DVD members for so long, so proud of what our employees achieved and excited to continue pleasing entertainment fans for many more decades to come.”

    Update (Tuesday, May 23 at 3:30 PM ET): Netflx officially implemented its new account sharing policy on May 23, sending an email to users clarifying what to expect. Accounts are to be used in one household only, though that account can be used "on the go" on mobile devices or in hotels and vacation homes. It will cost $7.99 to add extra members outside of the user's primary household.

    The location of the "household" is determined by the internet connection. Devices that have connected to the primary wi-fi will be considered part of the household. Mobile devices that have connected to that wi-fi can be used to verify the household membership on TVs outside of the phyiscal household by scanning a QR code for verfication. 

    Existing profiles on shared accounts can also be "transfered," meaning that person would then have to pay for their own Netflix subsctription. 

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Netflix