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Netflix has long threatened to stop joint accounts. It’s been experimenting in some markets to get a feel for it, but now they seem intent on rolling it out broadly. But what is really known? How is it made and how will it affect its users? We summarize everything we know so far:
How to not share password on Netflix?
What previous steps did Netflix take to keep this account from being shared?
One of the tests in this sense was carried out in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, where for a little less than three euros it was possible to add a maximum of two users who did not share an apartment with the account holder. Since October 2022, the option to transfer a user’s data to a new account has been active worldwide, another real and widespread step in this direction. In addition, for weeks the platform has allowed us to know in detail the devices connected to the same account.
A woman watches Netflix on a tablet.Pixabay
How will you control that everyone who uses Netflix pays for it?
It is the million dollar question and hence the confusion that is generated. They haven’t confirmed it yet, but there are already hints. In the January earnings presentation, they explained that the idea is to launch a joint subscription model where you can add more users for the equivalent of three or four dollars, similar to the system in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.
But this Wednesday the alarm went off and some international media published information obtained from the Netflix help page with relevant changes. As the Mashable website explains, they took the information from the Netflix help center as a reference, which explained that the platform asks users to connect to the main WiFi associated with the account and browse their website or app at or to be used at least once every 31 days from that location. However, this information is not displayed when you visit the official Netflix website in Spain or in the United States. Mashable explains that it was eventually released in the US but later withdrawn.
The information now available in Spain on this site also has a novelty: new devices must be verified. This is done by receiving an email or message on the account holder’s mobile phone with a link that accesses a verification code that must be inserted within 15 minutes. That is, it forces you to get in touch with the account holder. It is a system similar to that used by other platforms.
Greg Peters, Netflix’s new CEO, in a picture from the 2018.WEB SUMMIT
So what is the truth about having to connect from my wifi at least once a month?
What if I go on vacation or go to my second home all summer and can’t connect to my usual WiFi? What if I go away for six months to work outside of my home? In theory, the solution for short journeys would be to ask for a “temporary access code” to continue access, as explained on the website.
The fact that this information is not published on most countries’ official websites suggests that the final version released worldwide might be different. In any case, in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, these new terms are published in the Netflix Help Center: “To make sure your devices are connected to your main location, connect to the Wi-Fi network in your main location, open the Netflix app or website and watch at least one title every 31 days.” “If you want to share Netflix with someone who doesn’t live with you, you can add an additional member to your account,” he continues. In that case you would have to pay extra to add them. When it comes to activating devices outside of the main site, there are multiple options, from temporary codes for seven-day access to Netflix, to updating the main site, to adding an additional member and paying.
Screenshot of Netflix sharing terms in Chile.
But will this be the case forever? What does Netflix say about all this?
A Netflix representative explains that at the moment there is “no new news” regarding changes to the ability to share the account. “As we anticipate, we hope to begin broader implementation of payment sharing in Q1 2023. Account sharing, which is widespread today, is eroding our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix and grow our business. […] We’ve been hard at work developing additional new features that improve the Netflix experience, including the ability for subscribers to review which devices are using their account and transfer a profile to a new account. With the introduction of paid sharing, users in many countries will also have the option to pay more if they want to share Netflix with people they don’t live with. Just like now, all members can watch Netflix on the go […]. During this process, we’ll announce the various specifics.” When asked directly if it’s true that you have to log into the Netflix account from the main Wi-Fi at least once a month, the answer was neither yes nor no: ” There is nothing new”.
when will it come true
When presenting the results for the last quarter of 2022, they assured that it will be a phased measure, which they will implement first in a few countries and gradually expand until it is completed in the first two quarters of the year.
How many people are affected?
According to company calculations, more than 100 million households share Netflix (they have 230 million subscribers worldwide). A report by Barlovento Comunicación estimates that 61.3% of Spanish Netflix users share a subscription. In March of last year, Variety reported on financial analysis firm Cowen & Co.’s estimate that Netflix could make $1,600 million in profits annually by charging an account-sharing bonus. The calculations assumed that half of those who now have access to Netflix but don’t pay would choose to pay, and half of them would do so with their own subscription.
How will people react if account sharing is banned?
The same Barlovento report asked about user reaction if the platform banned this practice. 58.7% said they would cancel their subscription, while 14.8% would pay a premium to continue on the same terms, 14.6% would pay for their own subscription and 11.8% would choose the cheapest Decide tariff with advertising.
According to the same barometer, Netflix is the platform most shared in Spain, followed by Disney+, with 55.7% of its users sharing a password; At HBO Max, it’s a common practice among 47.9% of its subscribers. The percentage decreases for Prime Video (31%), Filmin (28.9%) and Movistar Plus+ (24.9%). In the case of Disney+, 66.8% of users affirm that their subscription would end if account sharing was prevented. For HBO Max, 63.7% would leave the platform if they couldn’t share.
In an interview with Netflix CEOs Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters, published by Bloomberg two weeks ago, they asked about the subject. “Of the more than 100 million people who share passwords, how many will pay for their own Netflix account?” Answer from Greg Peters: “These are people who know how to watch Netflix. You saw something on Netflix that you liked. Our task over the next few years is to win them back. […] If we give them a Wednesday every week, or Daggers in the Back: The Mystery of the Glass Onion every week, the vast majority of those viewers will come back.” The journalist asked how tough the technological wall that will be put up will be. “The “The vast majority of people who don’t pay for Netflix are going to have to pay for Netflix. It’s going to be a pretty solid position. It’s not going to be universally popular. There will be customers who aren’t happy,” Peters surmises.
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