Netflix has already stated that it is prepared to introduce some new rules regarding password sharing in the US. Three other countries’ recent changes provide a preview of what Americans can soon anticipate.
Netflix stated in a letter to shareholders sent last month that it anticipates “more broadly” implementing paid account sharing by the end of the first quarter of 2023. More than 100 million households, according to the streaming juggernaut, share accounts, which “undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix.”
When paid sharing launches, executives explained in a letter that they anticipate some users will cancel their accounts, but that “borrower households” will create their own accounts instead.
Netflix has been looking into ways to crack down on password sharing, including the use of sub-accounts for people who don’t live in the same house as the account owner in 2022 and a log-in verification process in 2021.
Peru, Costa Rica, and Chile all conducted tests on the latter. Netflix updated its help pages for all three of these nations this week, suggesting that it has implemented new policies regarding account sharing in these nations.
According to those pages, anyone can use a account at the account holder’s house, or their “primary location.” Those who are not inside the house must use their own accounts.
How to access in different devices?
Account holders must choose their primary location when accessing Netflix on a TV via their home Wi-Fi. Any devices connected to the Wi-Fi network in the main location can then access the account holder’s Netflix account, but devices attempting to access the account from any other locations may be blocked. If a user of an account doesn’t specify their primary location, it will determine it for them based on their IP addresses, device IDs, and usage patterns.
After choosing a primary location, Netflix users must “watch something at least once every 31 days” to maintain the location’s association with their devices.
According to the company, the account owner can add an additional member to their account for a small fee in order to share the account with someone outside of the primary location.
If Netflix users in these three nations attempt to access the service while travelling or after moving, they might also encounter streaming restrictions on some devices. In that case, Netflix advises users to either request a temporary code to verify their device or stream something to create a “trusted device” before leaving their primary location “and continue watching for 7 consecutive days.”
It is unclear how these modifications will affect accounts with plans that permit multiple screens. It’s also unclear if Netflix intends to introduce the same system here in the States. Nexstar asked for a response, but they were slow to do so.