Looks like the password sharing days might be coming to end… Netflix has, according to the BBC, started cracking down on password sharing.
“If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”Message some Netflix users are getting (BBC)
The official response to this message is that Netflix is testing to make sure that whoever is using the account is authorised to do so. According to the same report for the BBC, Netflix hasn’t yet made a decision on this.
Ey, if you are a paranoid sceptic like me this rings of a sweeping change just beyond the horizon. Companies rarely ever test things like this without some sort of rule change following.
Password sharing is as old Netflix is, well… after the company switched from being a DVD rental operation to a streaming service. Before Netflix was available in Zimbabwe, many relied on a good Samaritan in the diaspora to be able to watch stuff on Netflix.
Even to this day when you can pay for your own Netflix in Zim, many still use accounts registered elsewhere. If not they know a friend or family member in Zim that they split the bill with in order to enjoy all Netflix has to offer.
As with most things, it’s all about the Benjamins (and subscribers)
Netflix was able to push some serious numbers in 2020. The company raked in just shy of US$18 billion in revenue and US$2.3 billion in profit. Netflix also grew its subscriber base to 200 million worldwide after acquiring 37 million new subscriptions in 2020.
The massive growth can be attributed, in part, to the global lockdowns. With people being restricted to their homes, many would have looked for other ways to entertain themselves seeing as going out and congregating was against public health measures.
Netflix might also be also looking to do what its competitors are doing. Amazon Prime HBO Go and Disney+ all require you to live in the same household to be able to share an account. And with Disney+ subscriptions hitting 100 million worldwide, Netflix is looking at its age-old policy of turning a blind eye to password sharing as a real problem.
Disney+ is only a couple of years old and has already started closing the distance. It should also be said that Disney+ is not available in as many locations as Netflix.
Todini… Senzeni… What shall we do…
Having lost Zolspot free access and now this it looks like the salad days may soon be over. There hasn’t been a final decision but like I said its probably best to err on the side of caution.
If you don’t already have your own Netflix account it might be a good time to start considering getting one. Some might say this is a long way off but corporations like to operate like thieves in the night (remember how the Netflix VAT thing came out of nowhere). You don’t want to settle down with a meal in anticipation of continuing that show, only to get an error message.