Netflix account-sharers be warned: The streaming giant has detailed its strategy for limiting password-sharing to within a single household, and it involves Wi-Fi logins.
After months of not-so-secret plans for limiting the way single accounts can be used by several users — even those living in places far away from each other, the method has finally been made clear, somewhat, with users apparently now needing to specify primary locations for their accounts through their TVs.
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According to a report by The Streamable, Netflix will mandate all accounts and linked devices should be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as that TV, and users using accounts on linked devices will have to perform a check-in with that exact Wi-Fi network at least once every 31 days to ensure they don’t get blocked.
“Netflix accounts are still shareable, but only within one household. To ensure that your devices are associated with your primary location, Netflix is now asking users to connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days,” said a leaked FAQ provided by Netflix.
While the FAQ was released then promptly retracted by the Netflix Help Center, the rules have apparently been put into place in some countries, such as Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.
In addition to the Wi-Fi network check-in rule, the FAQs also stated that users going on holiday would be able to request for temporary codes that would enable them to sign in at other locations for up to seven days, while the streaming service would also rely on IP addresses, device IDs, and other account activity to ascertain whether or not an account is being signed in from the main location or elsewhere.
This all has been pretty much expected anyway, with Netflix already having introduced an “Add a Home” feature for users in Latin American markets in July 2022. This feature allowed users to pay an extra charge to add more locations for their existing accounts.
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Currently, the company has estimated that there are over 100 million households that share accounts globally, and it’s no wonder that the streaming leader has been working so hard to figure out a way to curb this behavior.
Now, it only remains to be seen how the rest of the world reacts to this change, and whether or not the move will successfully aid Netflix in recuperating lost revenue as a result of account sharing, or if it’ll just end up driving away a larger chunk of users instead.