Netflix Launches Password Sharing Crackdown in U.S.

Netflix home
(Image credit: Netflix)

LOS GATOS, Calif.—Netflix has officially launched its long-awaited crackdown on password sharing in the U.S. with an email to Netflix subscribers who are sharing Netflix outside their household. 

The email reminds them that a “Netflix account is for use by one household” and explains that they can add a user outside the household for $7.99 a month. 

As previously reported in TVT, Citi analyst Jason Bazinet estimated in 2021 that password sharing could be costing Netflix upwards of $6 billion in annual revenue and in 2022, Netflix suggested that as many as 100 million households around the world were accessing the streaming service with a shared password. 

Earlier this year, Netflix unveiled its plans to crackdown on account sharing with many expecting the crackdown to come as early as March. 

“Everyone living in that household can use Netflix wherever they are — at home, on the go, on holiday — and take advantage of new features like Transfer Profile and Manage Access and Devices,” Netflix explained in a blog post on May 23 that described steps subscribers can take to control access to their account. “We recognize that our members have many entertainment choices. It’s why we continue to invest heavily in a wide variety of new films and TV shows — so whatever your taste, mood or language and whoever you’re watching with, there’s always something satisfying to watch on Netflix.” 

Netflix has previously tested cracking down on password sharing in some Latin American markets. 

It remains uncertain however if the crackdown will boost Netflix subs in the heavily saturated U.S. market. Five years ago, Netflix believed that password sharing helped build buzz for its original programs by exposing them to larger audiences and refused to crackdown on the practice. 

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.