Netflix plans to start charging for password sharing, and customers aren't happy

Netflix is testing a way to crack down on password sharing. The streaming service has been asking some users of the popular streaming site to verify that they live with the holder of the account.

Jenny Kane / Jenny Kane

Netflix announced Wednesday it plans to start cracking down on password sharing among watchers, and customers are not taking it well.

The company said in a statement that in the past it has encouraged account sharing among its 222 million subscribers, with features such as profiles and multiple streams, but that the practices are “impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”

Netflix said it won’t ban password sharing, but those who do it will have to pay. It will be testing the change in three countries — Chile, Costa Rica and Peru. For 2,380 Chilean pesos, 2.99 U.S. dollars and 7.9 Peruvian sol, respectively, users can add up to two profiles.

“Netflix will lose a lot of customers if they do this password sharing crackdown they plan to do,” said one Twitter user.

“How do you expect families to handle password sharing in the case of divorcees, their children, or college students away from home?” another user said. “We already pay a lot for it, now you’re just milking us for every dollar spent.”

Under the anticipated change, users who don’t pay will be able to transfer their profiles to their own accounts, retaining customizations like My List, viewing history and recommendations Netflix makes.

“We recognize that people have many entertainment choices, so we want to ensure any new features are flexible and useful for members, whose subscriptions fund all our great TV and films,” the statement said.

“Mind your business! Respectfully!” said one tweet, with many others aiming profanity and laughing emojis at the streaming giant.

This is not Netflix’s first time trying ways to get people to pay for their own accounts. In March 2021, it began testing two-step verification, in which after logging in, users would have to input a code that would be sent to the phone or email of the account owner.

Netflix previously raised its U.S. prices in October 2020 and again in January, bringing the price of its standard plans from $13.99 to $15.49, Reuters reported.

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