Netflix to block millions of viewers amid password sharing crackdown

Netflix announced plans to bring in a feature that stops users from sharing passwords in early 2023.

Netflix to block millions from viewing content as company announces password sharing crackdown iStock

Netflix users in the UK could be blocked from streaming TV programmes and movies from the platform as it announced plans to stop password sharing.

The streaming giant said that widespread account sharing, of more than 100 million households, undermines the “long term ability to invest in and improve Netflix”.

Netflix announced plans to bring in a feature that stops users from sharing passwords in early 2023, with anybody caught doing so being blocked from watching, but said it is introducing a “paid sharing” feature which will cost less than a full subscription, likely before March.

In a letter to shareholders earlier this month, bosses confirmed the change.

Netflix said: “Later in Q1, we expect to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly. Today’s widespread account sharing (100M+ households) undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business. 

“While our terms of use limit use of Netflix to a household, we recognize this is a change for members who share their account more broadly. 

“So we’ve worked hard to build additional new features that improve the Netflix experience, including the ability for members to review which devices are using their account and to transfer a profile to a new account. 

“As we roll out paid sharing, members in many countries will also have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they don’t live with. 

“As is the case today, all members will be able to watch while traveling, whether on a TV or mobile device.”

The change means that a single Netflix account can be used by those living under one roof, which was already tested in the Latin American market.

In the trial, those sharing passwords had to pay additional fees and the new rules resulted in some “cancel reactions”.

The company said it expects “borrower households” to set up their own standalone accounts which would improve Netflix’s revenue.