Netflix’s new account-sharing rules to punish students
Netflix recently announced its new scheme to prevent people from sharing passwords with those from different households. The streaming giant announced that users would have to pay an additional £2.40 fee if they wished to share their account with someone outside their home.
Accounts will still be shareable, but users will have to sign into the Wi-Fi at their primary location once a month in order to keep using the account. If users fail to do so, they will have their account blocked. The policy aims to prevent password sharing with those who do not live in the same house. This is a trial scheme currently in operation in select countries but it is expected to extend to more countries, including the UK, in the coming months.
This will hit students particularly hard as many are away for months at a time. Amid the cost-of-living crisis, students took to social media to protest this move, with many threatening to cancel their subscriptions or switch to another streaming platform. The scheme also affects those who travel for extended periods of time, long-distance families, and divorced families, among others.
Users will be able to request a temporary code from Netflix to extend the 31-day period from which users can be disconnected from their home Wi-Fi by seven days. Netflix will use a combination of information, including IP addresses, account activity, and device IDs to determine how long the user has been away from the primary Wi-Fi.
This news comes after Netflix reported that they lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022. This is the first drop in subscribers the platform has seen in 10 years. Netflix did, however, have a very successful fourth quarter in 2022.
There are concerns regarding the future of the platform, especially given the recent number of cancellations of popular shows and the growth in rivals such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, and Apple TV, all of which are similar or even cheaper per month compared to Netflix.