Judgement Day: Netflix Announces When They Will Stop Allowing Password Sharing

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For the millions of you out there that are using your family member’s or friend’s Netflix passwords, you better get all your binge-watching in now.

That’s because the streaming service has announced when they will put an end to your ability to mooch off the system.

The barely-recognized announcement came as part of Netflix’s quarter earnings report last week.

Will viewers stop watching Netflix once they cut back on password sharing? (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Netflix)

In a letter sent to shareholders, the platform wrote “Today’s widespread account sharing (100M+ households) undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business.”

“So we’ve worked hard to build additional new features that improve the Netflix experience, including the ability for members to review which devices are using their account and to transfer a profile to a new account,” Netflix added.

They said the new crackdown on password sharing will be implemented by “the end of this quarter,” which occurs in March.

The announcement doesn’t come as a shocker, as the streaming platform has said for a while now that they would eventually crack down on those that are trying to skirt around the system by not paying for a subscription. But this is the first time we now know when they will begin making the significant changes.


The bottom line is, you’re going to have to pay more.

Netflix users will no longer be able to share a single account amongst friends or family that don’t live in the same household.

For example, if you’re a parent and you want to watch something, but maybe your college kid wants to watch the new show “Wednesday,” and you would both be using Netflix despite being in different locations? That won’t be able to happen anymore. You will have to log out of one device in order to log into the other one. Or, pay the new additional subscriber fee.

Sharing an account with a buddy? Or maybe you and your sister both have the same Netflix account? Doesn’t matter. Netflix will be telling you within the next couple weeks to pay up.


Netflix knows what they’re doing.

They are presenting it as a fixture for people that complain that they get booted off the service or that they are frustrated when someone else within their household is using the same account.

So what are they doing? In a guise as a way to solve this fabricated problem, they are going to now charge more money for it.

At the beginning of last year, Netflix posted poor first-quarter earnings that they believed to be because of a loss of subscribers. The culprit? Password-sharing of course.

Although the specific details of the new subscriber plans haven’t been revealed yet – it is to expected to be in the $3-4 a month range. That may not seem like a lot, but people are already paying $19.99 per month for Netflix’s premium service (which allows two screens to watch Netflix at the same time in the same household).

It will be interesting to see if the loss of password sharing will actually bring in more subscribers. There’s no doubt that Netflix is still king when it comes to streaming, but there are a ton of other growing competitive options out there that are picking up steam.

With cord-cutting happening all over the place, viewers – especially the important younger and middle-aged demos may not immediately come running back to Netflix.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

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