Netflix is facing pushback from users after unveiling new password-sharing restrictions.
On Wednesday, the streaming platform announced that password sharing is weighing down its business, and it will be rolling out new rules regarding this practice in its Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain markets.
The platform has held that passwords and accounts can only be shared within one household, that is, “people who live in the same location with the account owner,” NBC 5 reported. Those living outside of the same living space are required to sign up for their own account subscription.
In an update released on the Netflix website, the director of product growth innovation, Chengyi Long, explains the new process by which users will have “greater control over who can access their account.” The primary account owner will set a primary location from which they stream, but they will still be able to watch on their account when traveling.
As TODAY reported, the streaming service plans to verify users as being a part of the same household via IP address and device IDs.
In addition to these password rules, Netflix will be rolling out some new features to aid users in the transition, such as the ability to transfer a profile and its data to a new account subscription.
Members with higher-paid plans will have the option to add a “sub account,” as per the Netflix update. This would allow for those not residing in the primary location of the household to continue to be on the plan rather than pay for an entirely new subscription. The sub account will cost an additional fee and can support up to two users who live outside the household.
Netflix users on social media did not react well to these changes.
They had many follow-up questions. These typically concerned how the policy will apply to those who live away from family, as well as how often one can change their primary location, the issue of college kids living away from home, children of divorce living in shared custody, and people who live somewhere else for part of the year.
Cecilia Stariha, a Netflix user, has similar queries and told The Dallas Express, “it feels like they are just trying to get more money.”
She also cited Netflix’s screen policy, which allows a set number of simultaneous streams depending on the subscription.
“If someone is paying for a certain amount of screens, why should they not use them?” she wondered.