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This article was published on May 24, 2023

Netflix expands controversial password sharing crackdown in Europe

If you want to share a password, you'll have to pay for it


Netflix expands controversial password sharing crackdown in Europe

The time when Netflix used to profess that “love is sharing a password” is long gone. Now, the streaming giant is expanding its controversial password sharing crackdown across the globe, including nine European countries: France, Germany, Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Starting on Tuesday, users who are sharing their Netflix account outside of their household will be receiving a long-dreaded email essentially informing them they can no longer do that.

“Your Netflix account is for you and the people you live with — your household,” the company emphasises in its announcement. And it will use information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to ensure that signed devices are justly part of the Netflix household.

The streaming service is offering two alternative options for users that fall out of the household category. The first one is transferring a profile into a new paid membership. The second one is buying an extra member to keep on using the same account — with varying prices per country. For example, it costs €3.99 per month in Belgium and the Netherlands, €5.99 in France, and £4.99 in the UK.

Neftlix’s password sharing crackdown expansion — which now goes after over 100 countries worldwide — follows the implementation of the new measures in Portugal, Canada, New Zealand, and Spain.

The company, which has missed its new subscriber targets in the first quarter of 2023, hopes this strategy coupled with ad-based subscriptions will boost growth in the second half of the year.

But trying to turn password sharers into active subscribers might have the opposite effect. A recent study by market research group Kantar has found that Netflix’s new policy has cost it one million users in Spain during the first quarter of 2023. This translates into a decrease of approximately 15% of total users.

It remains to be seen how the password sharing crackdown will be received by the newly-added countries. I, for one, will be checking my mailbox with dread the entire day. If you share my fate, let us know what you think via the usual channels.

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