Those who currently share a Netflix account with a friend and / or family member will soon need to get one of their own. The company has begun testing a new feature designed to end password sharing. The streaming service, up to this point, has largely ignored the issue. No more. If this feature goes beyond the testing phase, those who have been sharing passwords won’t be able to do so easily.

Recently, certain Netflix users started receiving a message while trying to stream content on the service. “If you do not live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to continue viewing,” the message reads. It turns out that the company is testing this feature to try to limit password sharing. If two people using the same account do not live in the same place, the company will try to get the user who borrows the password to sign up for a new account. Netflix said the following about it in a statement.

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“This test is designed to help ensure that people who use Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”

This all goes back to what is outlined in the Netflix terms and conditions. Per the user agreement, “The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal, non-commercial use only and may not be shared with people beyond your home.” Often times when it comes to sharing passwords, it involves people using the same account in multiple households. From a business perspective, this represents potential losses. For a company as large as Netflix, those losses could be substantial. So it’s not hard to see why they would try to curb the number of people sharing passwords.

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Netflix currently has more than 200 million subscribers worldwide. But the competition has gotten much fiercer over the course of the last year. Rival services like Disney +, Apple TV +, HBO Max, Peacock, and most recently Paramount + have entered the fold. It’s a fight for consumers’ eyes and money. Disney +, in particular, has gained a lot of ground, amassing more than 100 million subscribers to date. Considering the Disney-backed service launched in November 2019, that’s pretty impressive. The recent surge in competition may explain why Netflix feels that now is the time to do something about password sharing.

It’s unclear if Netflix will expand this beyond the testing phase. It also appears, at the moment, that this is only done on televisions. Mobile devices are safe for now. The basic Netflix plan currently costs $ 8.99 per month. Its standard and most popular plan is priced at $ 13.99, after the most recent price increase. This plan allows users to watch on two screens at the same time. It seems the plan is to try to ensure that those displays are located under the same roof. We will make sure to keep you informed as more information becomes available. This news was first reported by The Streamable.

Topics: Netflix, Streaming

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