Freeloaders beware: Netflix is about to crack down on unauthorized password sharing.
After announcing that CEO and co-founder, Reed Hastings, will step down, the streaming giant also revealed it would crack down on people who “borrow” its service in the US (i.e. people who mooch off other people’s accounts to watch Netflix ).
“Widespread account sharing (more than 100 million households) undermines our ability to invest in and improve Netflix over the long term and to build our business,” the company said in a statement. a letter to shareholders.
In other words, sharing is not caring.
Indeed, Netflix blamed rampant account sharing as one of the reasons for the massive loss of subscribers last year.
So, starting now and March, Netflix plans to limit accounts to users within one household rather than allow sharing between multiple external users. Account holders who want to share with users they don’t live with will have to pay an additional fee.
Related: Netflix announces more layoffs
How will subscribers respond?
The company has tested this stricter policy in Latin America with some success. But based on that experience, they admit that the decision to limit subscriptions to households will see some cancellations in the short term.
“We expect some cancellation responses in every market as we roll out paid sharing,” the shareholder letter reads.
In an earnings call earlier in the day, newly minted co-CEO Greg Peters, with Ted Sarandos, expected customer backlash.
“This will not be a widely popular move,” he said.
Ultimately, though, the company believes shows like Sweird stuff and Megan will win people over.
“It’s the must-seeness of the content that makes the paid sharing initiative work,” Sarandos said.