The great Netflix password crackdown has begun.
The streaming giant sent out an email Tuesday to US members who are sharing their account with people living outside their household that made clear it would begin kicking people off the service if they were using someone’s account for more than 30 days while at a different location.
For households willing to pay for an additional person to have access to their account, Netflix said it would charge an extra $7.99 per person. Otherwise, it said, it would encourage those users to sign up for an account themselves. (Netflix allows users to transfer their existing profiles to a new account to save their algorithm.)
The news was not a surprise. More than a year ago, in April 2022, the company announced its first subscriber loss in 10 years, attributing the decline, in part, to shifting economic forces as well as increased competition from other streaming services. It said at the time that it would look for ways to increase revenue, including adding a cheaper ad tier and cracking down on password sharing among households. Netflix estimated that 100 million people worldwide were accessing their streaming service. But that was a different time, one when Netflix reigned as the only streaming service in town. Now consumers have a plethora of choices, from Disney+ to Warner Bros. Discovery’s newly launched Max to Peacock and Paramount+ and many others. And Netflix’s efforts to generate more revenue per subscriber come as many consumers are feeling the economic strain from inflation.