Netflix rolls back password-sharing rules after subscriber protests

One of Netflix’s most controversial updates may not be happening. On Friday, a report of The Streamable indicated that Netflix has reversed details of its forthcoming measures to combat password sharing and removed the information from their official website as of Wednesday, February 1. The info included new rules that would block devices used outside of the primary Netflix user’s home unless they verify their access on a monthly basis. The proposal was met with near-universal disapproval from subscribers, many of whom outlined multiple living situations where this new policy would not be feasible. According to a statement from a Netflix spokesperson, these new rules will only be in effect in certain countries and potential changes will be communicated to subscribers before they actually take place.

“Yesterday, a help center article with information only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica and Peru went live for a short time in other countries,” the spokesperson explained. “We’ve since updated it.”

Why is Netflix ending password sharing?

While the exact scope of efforts to end password sharing has not been made clear, previous reports have indicated that IP address tracking, login location and account activity could all eventually be on the table for US subscribers.

“It’s a lot like the way you handle a price increase. … Consumers aren’t going to love it right away, but we need to show them why they need to see value,” said former CEO Ted Sarandos during a late 2022 appearance.

Another option that came up included asking subscribers to pay extra for the ability to share passwords. Over the years of speculation about these measures, previous reports had indicated that the company loses up to $1.62 billion annually due to users sharing passwords.

“We’ve found a thoughtful approach to monetizing account sharing and we’ll roll it out more widely starting in early 2023,” the company said in a quarterly statement. “After listening to consumer feedback, we will be offering borrowers the ability to transfer their Netflix profile to their own account, and for sharers to more easily manage their devices and create sub-accounts (“additional member”) , if they want to pay for family or friends. In countries with our cheaper ad-supported plan, we expect the profile transfer option for borrowers to be especially popular.”

How do you feel about Netflix reversing its measures to end password sharing? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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