Netflix Clarifies Anti-Password Sharing Rules Amid Confusion

Netflix is setting the record straight about its password sharing restrictions. Amid various reports over the past several weeks regarding the eventual introduction of anti-password-sharing measures in the United States, the company on Wednesday once again clarified the rules, sharing in a new document that limitations regarding account sharing began rolling out in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain on Feb. 8. Netflix did not say when the rules will be introduced stateside, though co-CEO Greg Peters in January confirmed that the restrictions will roll out in March of this year.

"We've always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account with features like profiles and multiple streams. While these have been hugely popular, they've also created confusion about when and how you can share Netflix. Today, over 100 million households are sharing accounts – impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films," Netflix said. "So over the last year, we've been exploring different approaches to address this issue in Latin America, and we're now ready to roll them out more broadly in the coming months, starting today in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. Our focus has been on giving members greater control over who can access their account."

According to Netflix, Netflix subscribers in countries where password sharing restrictions are in place will be able to set a primary location, "ensuring that anyone who lives in their household can use their Netflix account." In order to protect accounts and prevent password sharing, which Netflix has credited for a lack in subscriber growth in the past, subscribers will also be able to easily manage who has access to their account via the new Manage Access and Devices page. The company also addressed concerns over traveling, explaining that subscribing members will still be able to watch Netflix on their personal devices or log into a new TV, like at a hotel or holiday rental. Previous reports suggested that users would need to request a temporary access code while traveling.

Although password sharing will now all but be banned, there are options for those who share password. Those piggybacking off somebody else account can choose to start their own Netflix subscription, with Netflix now allow users to transfer profiles to new accounts, "which they pay for – keeping their personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List, saved games and more." For those unwilling to shell out the cash for a full subscription, the company also confirmed that those subscribed to Netflix Standard or Netflix Premium, the middle- and top-tiers, "can add an extra member sub account for up to two people they don't live with." In Canada, this will cost an additional $7.99 CAD a month per person, and NZD$7.99 in New Zealand, Euro 3.99 in Portugal, and Euro 5.99 in Spain.

Netflix concluded the post by stating, "we value our members and recognize that they have many entertainment choices. A Netflix account is intended for one household and members can choose from a range of plans with different features."