Remote control with Netflix logo: The help site announces a new measure against account sharing
Photo: Mike Blake/ REUTERS
It has been clear for months that something will soon happen in the area of account sharing – but now Netflix is apparently taking it seriously.
At a time when the video streaming service is no longer consistently attracting large numbers of new customers, it's introducing a new rule that makes sharing existing accounts across households significantly more complicated.
In this way, the provider apparently wants to turn more users into paying users.
In April 2022, Netflix estimated that more than 100 million households worldwide watch Netflix without having a subscription themselves.
In the future, there will be a so-called main location for each Netflix account, which will be defined by the WiFi network there.
It now says so on the service's help pages.
According to the company, if you want to use Netflix in other locations in the future, you must have connected your device to this network at least once in the previous 31 days and then streamed something via the Netflix website or app.
Netflix writes: "We use information such as IP addresses, device IDs and account activity to determine whether a device logged into your account is linked to your primary location."
»But nobody cares anyway«
If, for example, you want to log into your account while on vacation with a device that is not or no longer connected to the main location, it can happen, according to Netflix, that the device initially does not have access.
You can then "request a time-limited code that allows you to use Netflix for seven consecutive days".
This rule should also allow the service to be used from another place of residence, although apparently only for seven days at a time.
Then a code must be requested again.
Up until now, Netflix account sharing hasn't been a problem for many years.
It was not officially allowed to pass on your own Netflix password to people outside your own household.
However, the service tolerated even obvious violations of this policy.
Even the provider's help chat gave answers on the subject of account sharing last year like: "Netflix is only intended for one household.
But no one cares about that anyway."
In recent months, however, the company has repeatedly indicated that it wants to curb the unauthorized sharing of accounts across households with the help of new offers.
This includes a cheaper entry-level subscription with commercial breaks.