After months of hand-wringing and false starts, Netflix announced Monday that it's begun its password-sharing crackdown.
The long and the short of it is that a Netflix account is limited to one household. Account owners will set this location by logging into a smart TV or streaming box, with the company using “IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity” to block outside users. But before you text the group chat with the bad news, consider this account-sharing workaround.
How To Get Around Netflix’s Password-Sharing Restrictions
Netflix’s whole system relies on subscribers establishing a household by logging into a smart TV or streaming box. But if you never log into one of those devices, you can continue to share Netflix with other people, according to Lifehacker.
Netflix is pretty clear about this: “If you don’t watch Netflix on a TV or don’t have one, you do not need to set a Netflix Household for your account.” While this workaround isn’t ideal, you can still hook your laptop up to your TV to watch on the big screen. We recommend using an HDMI cable, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast.
How To (Legitimately) Share Your Account
If exploiting loopholes just isn’t your thing, then you should know that Netflix now allows paid account sharing on its standard and premium plans, with extra member slots costing an additional $7.99 per month.
Standard: $15.49 a month
Add up to one extra member who doesn't live with you ($7.99 a month)
Unlimited ad-free movies, TV shows, and mobile games in full HD
Watch on two devices at a time
Download on two devices at a time
Premium: $19.99 a month
Add up to two extra members who don't live with you ($7.99 a month for each slot)
Unlimited ad-free movies, TV shows, and mobile games in ultra HD
Watch on four devices at a time
Download on six devices at a time
Netflix spatial audio
Why Is Netflix Cracking Down on Password Sharing?
In 2017, Netflix (in)famously tweeted, “Love is sharing a password.” But then Netflix started losing subscribers in 2022, and the streaming giant began to worry about its bottom line.
“2022 was a tough year, with a bumpy start but a brighter finish,” Netflix wrote in its January letter to shareholders. “We believe we have a clear path to reaccelerate our revenue growth: continuing to improve all aspects of Netflix, launching paid sharing and building our ads offering. As always, our north stars remain pleasing our members and building even greater profitability over time.”
While other companies may follow suit, AppleTV+, Amazon Prime Video, Max (formerly HBOMax), Hulu, Disney+, and Peacock all tacitly allow account sharing.
The Bottom Line
Unless you’re willing to circumvent the changes, Netflix users who share their password will have to make a choice. Find another streaming service, add extra member slots for $7.99 each, or let your friends, family, former roommates, and ex-partners fend for themselves.
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