Sharing your Netflix account is about to get more difficult as the international streaming behemoth tests a feature that will make it harder for people outside of the same household share a login in an effort to stop people stealing accounts.
Netflix has launched an experiment that shows some of its users a prompt asking them to verify that they own an account via email or text, as first reported by The Record.
The company is reportedly testing the feature to try weed out hackers who sell Netflix accounts in online marketplaces, allowing people to pay a one time fee to piggyback off a paying customer for the account.
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” a spokesperson for Netflix said.
Netflix users began being shown the prompt earlier this week, which helpfully suggests creating a trial account for the streaming platform in case “you don’t live with the owner of this account”.
O no. Netflix doing the purge?!? pic.twitter.com/XXlHtfgfsy
— chante most (@DOP3Sweet) March 9, 2021
While ostensibly meant to stop hackers, this change will no doubt affect the many people who are sharing a Netflix account with family, friends, exes and people using smart TVs after someone forgot to log out. You know, pretty much everyone.
Sharing Netflix and other streaming account passwords is exceedingly common in part because it makes all that content that’s increasingly hidden behind paywalls more affordable.
Implementing a screen asking someone to verify that they’re allowed to use the account won’t defeat people sharing accounts across households but it might deter them.
If sitting down to watch Netflix means that you have text your friend, wait for them to respond before being able to log in, you might decide it’s easier to cough up the $10.99 yourself, login to a different streaming service, or pirate content.
This seems like a no-brainer for Netflix that won’t leave too many people upset, but will probably help its bottom line.