Netflix’s crackdown of account password sharing could come by end of March

(ABC 6 News) – The days of users sharing a password to a Netflix account for free could soon be coming to an end, according to the streaming service company.

Although they didn’t specify an exact date, Netflix stated in a shareholder letter last week that they are looking to end free password sharing between users possibly by the end of March (Q1), and instead will be rolling out paid account sharing.

It is still unclear how paid password sharing will be enforced or how much it will cost.

Netflix says more than 100 million households share accounts and that it “undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business.”

Netflix says people may cancel their accounts because of this move, but they expect more borrower households will start their own accounts.

“While our terms of use limit use of Netflix to a household, we recognize this is a change for members who share their account more broadly. So we’ve worked hard to build additional new features that improve the Netflix experience, including the ability for members to review which devices are using their account and to transfer a profile to a new account,” the company said.

The company, which described 2022 as a “tough” year, suffered its first subscriber loss in more than a decade when its customer base fell by 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of last year. However, they said operating profit and membership growth in the fourth quarter “exceeded our forecast” as they ended 2022 on the high end of their targeted operating profit margin for the full year.

In efforts to increase growth, the company also launched a lower-priced ad-supported plan in November, stating that the move has driven “incremental membership growth.”