Netflix is trialling a feature that may lead to a crackdown on password sharing among users of the video streaming service.
When opening the streaming platform, some users have reported being met with a screen reading: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”
Viewers are then reportedly given the opportunity to verify their identity through a code sent to the account’s owner, or can choose to finish the verification process later.
A Netflix spokesperson said: “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so.”
35% of millennials share passwords for streaming services
Netflix has previously said it is happy for account holders to share passwords, with CEO Reed Hastings saying in 2016 that the company had “no plans” to be strict on the matter.
“Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with because there’s so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids,” Mr Hastings said.
“So there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”
The terms say: “The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”
Research conducted by Magid found that 35 per cent of millennials share passwords for streaming services. Competition between the platforms remains high, after recent services, including Disney+, and soon HBO Max, gather up new subscribers, challenging Netflix’s reign at the top.
The service hit 203 million global subscribers in January 2021.
How to stop others using your Netflix account
If you want to stop others from using your Netflix account, do the following to prevent further use:
- Update your Netflix password
- Log out of all devices connected to your account. Go to settings, and then click ‘Sign out of all devices’
- Check who has been using your account. You can check who has been using your account by visiting the recent device streaming activity page on Netflix’s website