- Netflix is testing a crackdown on sharing passwords with those outside your household.
- The practice is already forbidden, but Netflix hasn’t enforced the rule in the past.
- The streaming service places limits on streaming from multiple devices simultaneously.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Netflix is going to start cracking down on one of the oldest traditions in subscription streaming: password sharing.
The company has started testing a new prompt when customers attempt to use a Netflix account that belongs to someone outside their household: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching,” the prompt says.
Users will then be directed to either verify the account with a text or email code or start their own free 30-day trial. The feature is being tested only on TVs.
The Streamable’s Jason Gurwin was the first to report the test.
A Netflix spokesperson told Insider the test was “designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”
Sharing passwords with people outside your household is already forbidden in Netflix’s terms and conditions, but the streaming giant hasn’t enforced the rule in the past. The company limits the number of devices on which you can simultaneously stream its content, which is dictated by your subscription tier.
Netflix does not place a limit on how many devices can be logged in to your account at one time.
Though Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said in 2016 that password sharing was “something you have to learn to live with,” there have been increased efforts in recent years to clamp down on the practice. Bloomberg reported in 2019 that Netflix, HBO, and a group of cable companies had formed a coalition to figure out “consumer-friendly” ways to limit shared passwords, like text codes and required periodic password changes.