Netflix is testing a way to prevent password sharing
The streaming service asks some users to log in again with a code via email or text message to prevent unauthorized use.
“If you do not live with the owner of this account, you will need your own account to continue viewing.” Some Netflix viewers get that message during binge watching. If you want to look further, you will be given the option to have a code sent by SMS or e-mail.
With this test, Netflix is investigating ways to combat password sharing, the practice in which paying users lavishly scatter their password to let others enjoy the wealth of television. This is allowed ‘within the household’, but not outside of it.
It seems logical that Netflix is investigating ways to get these peers out and force them to a paying subscription. But Netflix never turned the practice into a real problem in the past. On the contrary. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once called password parts “excellent marketing.” “If such a young person becomes familiar with Netflix as a result, he will probably just become a subscriber himself at a later point in life,” Hastings said, putting things into perspective.
Richard Plepler, CEO of Netflix competitor HBO, also responded with a shrug of password sharing. At a press conference, Hastings once jokingly gave away Plepler’s HBO password: Netflixbitch. Tackling password sharing was therefore not immediately high on the list of priorities in the sector.
With this test, there seems to be a change in Netflix’s laissez-faire attitude. Whether the test will be carried out widely is not yet clear. But to be on the safe side, it is best to quickly empty their list, starting with the excellent series ‘Godless’.