Netflix has rolled out a test to crack down on password sharing. Spotted by Gamma Wire, viewers who are attempting to use somebody else’s account will receive a warning screen.
The warning screen reads: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”
At the moment, only a small number of users are impacted by the test. When met with the warning, uses are also required to verify their ownership with a verification code. Users also have the option to verify later.
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” a Netflix spokesperson said.
Sharing passwords is a common practice across many streaming services. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even declared in 2016 that password sharing is a norm “because there’s so much legitimate password sharing – like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids … so there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”
The crackdown on password sharing may potentially represent a new strategy shift by Netflix. Time will tell if this test will expand or become a permanent feature.
With other competitors like Disney+ and HBO Max gaining popularity, especially with the former recently topping 100 million subscribers, Netflix has to tread very carefully. Upset the customers, and they might jump ship.