The pioneer of modern streaming, Netflix recently announced that it is overhauling how the company will manage passwords for shared accounts. Netflix has said that monthly fees will not increase from the current rate, but there will be new precautions to ensure that accounts are only used by their primary owners.
Netflix wants to enforce its new password sharing policy by limiting devices to a single household. The company clarified that people are still welcome to share their account with others as long as they “reside at the principal location of the account owner.”
You may be wondering how Netflix will be able to tell if you are on the primary account position, and according to theirs FAQ pageNetflix “uses information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to determine whether a device signed into your account is connected to the primary location.”
While this leaves the question of how to access your account if you’re traveling frequently, luckily it seems the streaming service has come up with some clever ways to ensure you can keep streaming while you’re away from home. Netflix has mentioned that if you connect to wifi at the primary location once every 31 days, your device will be marked as a trusted device to stop blocks from the service.
However, this comes with its own set of problems, as many students are unable to consistently make it home to maintain a “reliable device” connection.
“If I can’t share my account with my family, I’ll probably just cancel my account entirely,” said Victoria Crum, a freshman at the University of North Florida. She explained that price increases and now Netflix’s new paid-sharing policy are making her reconsider renewing her now six-year subscription to the streaming service.
Another solution that Netflix has proposed is the idea of ”paid sub-accounts” for people to pay to share.
This practice has already been outlined for several countries with prices ranging from $3 a month per additional account all the way up to $7.99. This decision comes after the company’s increase in plan prices in January, bringing the cost of each plan up by a minimum of $1, leaving students like Crum in the same situation of deciding whether the investment is worth the product.
According to the latest Netflix shareholder letter, the concept of “paid sharing” along with the company’s new password policy should be rolled out towards the end of their first fiscal quarter around the end of March.
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