Netflix Expected to Start Cracking Down on Password Sharing

Don't expect to share your Netflix password with your extended family and friends and be able to get away with it. Having multiple households on one Netflix account could start to become a thing of the past, as the streaming giant is well aware of the issue and has plans in the distant future to crack down on it.

Netflix's quarterly earnings call this week saw product chief Greg Peters acknowledge that password sharing was an issue that the company was aware of. However, Peters explained that there was no clear timeline for trying to stop account-sharing, meaning that password-borrowers might not have to freak out just yet.

"We continue to monitor [password sharing]," Peters said during the quarterly earnings call. "We'll continue to look at the situation and we'll see those consumer-friendly ways to push on the edge of that, but we've got no big plans at this point in time in terms of doing something different there."

While a basic Netflix plan allowing for a user to stream on one screen at a single time costs $8.99 per month, for nearly double that ($15.99 per month), a single Netflix account can be accessed on four different screens at the same time. However, the plan is meant to apply to a single household only, as per Netflix's terms and conditions. "Any content viewed through the service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household," the terms state.

If Netflix suspects fraudulent actions, the company has the ability to end an account or put it on hold.

While Netflix hasn't done a ton to limit password and account sharing it sounds like the company may be in the midst of trying to decipher a way to restrict it — though their timeline and course of action is unclear.

The timing of the news comes just as Disney+ is gearing up to launch in hopes of overtaking Netflix as the top streaming service, leaving many to wonder if a crackdown from Netflix could lead to users opting out in favor of Disney+.

Amid the streaming wars, Netflix head Ted Sarandos told Katie Couric this week that the company has "no plans" to sell.


"We've been competing since Day One," the streamer's chief content officer said ahead of upcoming wave of new digital services like Disney+ and Apple TV+, adding that the company was fighting against "pretty scary big companies" like Blockbuster and Walmart back in the days of sending out DVDs in little red envelopes.

"We have one product," Sarandos continued, throwing shade on the iPhone manufacturer and the theme-park-and-more conglomerate. "We make great television and films for our customers ... and we have to keep doing that."