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Netflix rolls out password-sharing rules requiring users to be in one household

Starting in four countries, Netflix will determine if account users are all part of the same household.
/ Source: TODAY

Netflix has a password problem shared. Now they’re hoping to make it a problem halved.

On Feb. 8, Netflix announced that when it comes to the password sharing currently weighing down its business, it will roll out its new rules in the Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain markets.

The streaming giant’s help center states that accounts are meant to be shared in one household or “people who live in the same location with the account owner.” To stream on the platform, those living outside of a home with a subscription must sign up for their account.

According to an update on Netflix’s website, the account owner will need to set a primary location, but they will still be able to watch on their account when they travel.

The streamer has previously said it will verify that account users are part of the same household through IP addresses and device IDs.

Some of the new features include the ability to transfer a profile to a new paid account, which would save a user’s viewing history and personalized recommendations. It also allows members on the higher-paid plans to add a “sub account” — for an additional fee — for up to two people who are not part of the household.

Netflix’s official announcement comes on the heels of recent shake ups at the company.

In January, CNBC reported that the company’s former CEO, Reed Hastings, would step down from his position to become executive chairman. At the time, the streamer also revealed that it had added 7.66 million paid subscribers in its final quarter — well above the 4.57 million Wall Street expected — and for the first time, its ad tier reflected in its earnings

But on social media, many Netflix users reacted poorly to the news that they wouldn’t be able to access the streamer’s catalog without some hitches.

Twitter users resurfaced a 2017 tweet from the Netflix account that reads, "Love is sharing a password," calling out the streamer for changing its tune.

“Love is dead,” one user wrote in response to the post.

Other users responded with follow-up questions about how the policy will apply to people in situations who live away from family.

“How often can you change your primary location? What happens to deployed servicemembers?” one user asked. “What happens to college kids? What happens to children of divorce with shared custody? What happens to snowbirds? Did you think any of this through beyond the money?”

“Can’t wait for it to snowball on them,” another replied to the tweet. “Ppl are going to cancel because they can’t password share, Netflix will raise prices to make up for the loss of customers/revenue, then more ppl will cancel because of higher prices. Smart Netflix.”