Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing finally reached the UK and US yesterday, amid efforts to stop freeloaders.
Millions are now barred from lending streaming accounts to anyone outside their household as the TV giant tightened its rules in more than 100 countries.
While it’s currently unclear how identities will be verified, many face additional charges if they want to continue sharing their account.
The California-based firm said: ‘A Netflix account is for one household use. Everyone in that household can use Netflix wherever they are—at home, on the go, on vacation—and take advantage of new features like Transfer Profile and Manage Access and Devices.
But what does this mean to you? MailOnline explains everything you need to know about Netflix’s big changes.
Millions are now banned from lending Netflix logins to people outside of their household
What are the rules and do I have to pay?
Netflix is clamping down on password sharing between people who don’t live in the same household.
Whether you gave account details to a friend on the road or to a distant relative in Spain, this rule will apply to you.
While password sharing wasn’t allowed before yesterday’s announcement, stricter measures are being put in place to ensure people abide by the rules.
Account holders will be charged £4.99 per month for each additional member they add
Account holders can still watch Netflix while on the go or abroad, but additional prices may increase when someone else gets on board.
This can happen in two different ways: first the exploiter is offered to “transfer a profile” to a completely new membership for which he pays.
Otherwise, the initial account holder can pay £4.99 per month in the UK and $8 per month in the US for each additional member they allow to use Netflix.
Are additional member accounts different?
Netflix account owners can purchase additional member slots for friends and family who don’t live with them.
But the TV giant warns that anyone living in a different country or using a VPN, proxy or ‘unblocker’ service will not be able to add an extra space.
Potential members will be sent an invitation via email or text message to set up the space that will have their own profile, account, and password.
These users will continue to have access to all movies and shows through any internet-connected device that offers the app.
The videos will also have the same quality as the account holder who is paying for the additional member space.
But the service cautions that there are some key differences between additional member accounts and your average Netflix account.
Added members can only view or download content on one device at a time, using a single profile.
These accounts must also be activated in the same country linked to the account owner.
Netflix’s new stricter rules now apply in over 100 countries worldwide
How will the rules be enforced?
Netflix has yet to officially confirm how the rules will apply.
But one cyber security expert believes that data such as IP addresses (unique codes dedicated to each device) can be used to detect unauthorized users.
ESET Global Security Advisor Jake Moore told MailOnline: “Without knowing how Netflix will enforce this new measure, it will be hard to know how bulletproof it will be.”
“However, it’s likely to be based on unique device identifiers (so Netflix knows if it’s a TV or what mobile device you need to play on) and IP addresses.
IP addresses can be easily changed with a VPN, which can be a pain in the ass for Netflix.
‘Netflix will potentially assign a certain number of devices to a home IP address and then a small number of roaming IP addresses for when using mobile data, such as on a train.
‘This IP address will always change, so you may want to remove any secondary static IP addresses.
“The reason this new measure has taken so long to publish is because it would be extremely difficult to make this process foolproof.”
The firm has also previously suggested that accounts need to be linked to home WiFi at least once a month to be considered a “trusted device.”
This would present some complications if users plan to travel or relocate for more than 31 days.
When asked, Netflix told MailOnline that it won’t reveal any details of its app.
Netflix has certainly changed its tune since it tweeted ‘Love is sharing a password’ in 2017.
Why is Netflix doing this?
Last year, Netflix announced it would clamp down on account sharing, with trials in some markets.
It’s a drastic change for the company, which tweeted that “love is sharing a password” just six years ago.
But experts say the plans finally started as Netflix grapples with disappointing subscriber counts after the pandemic.
The program has already been implemented in Latin America, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.
The US and UK are among more than 100 countries now also on the list following the announcement of the plans yesterday.
But the scheme has not been overwhelmingly successful, with Netflix losing more than a million Spanish subscribers in the first three months of 2023, according to Kantar.
In January, Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters also acknowledged that the crackdown could lead to more subscriber cancellations.
“It’s worth noting that this will not be a universally popular move,” Peters advised investors.
The company had estimated that more than 100 million households had provided their login credentials to friends and family outside their homes.
At the end of March, Netflix’s paying customers numbered 232.5 million worldwide.
WHAT ARE THE VIDEO STREAMING OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO UK CUSTOMERS?
Price: From £4.99 a month (with ads) or £6.99 a month (without ads)
Price: £8.99 per month OR £95 per year
- Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
Price: £6.99 a month
- ted lasso
- for all mankind
Price: £7.99 per month OR £79.90 per year
- the mandalorian
- The Simpsons
Price: From £6.99 per month (6 months) or £9.99 (flexible)
- game of Thrones
Price: £4.99 a month
- keeping up with the Kardashians
- made in chelsea
Price: £5.99 per month OR £59.99 per year
- spit image
- Midsomer murders
Prices correct as of May 2023