Friday, January 20, 2023

Netflix wants to charge more for password sharing

Netflix has a problem. People have, for years, been sharing their Netflix password with others.

Now, before you say "so what?" you should keep in mind that Netflix only allows password sharing for those in the same household. That means that sharing your password with your parents (or grandparents) who live separately from you is a violation of Netflix terms of service (ToS).

Of course, it's often that the parents (or grandparents) are the ones actually paying for the service that the adult children (or grandchildren) are using. Both happen, but it appears that it's the younger ones who are freeloading, not the older ones, more often than not.

Regardless of which generation is paying the bill, the mere fact that multiple households are sharing the same Netflix account is a violation of Netflix ToS.

So, what does Netflix do about it? Well, nothing. At least, so far, they have done nothing. But they do want to do something.

According to a recent report, Netflix said that they want to charge more for password sharing.

"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," Netflix said in a statement. "As we roll out paid sharing, members in many countries will also have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they don't live with."

In short, Netflix wants you to pay more in order to share your subscription with other people who do not live with you.

This is not new, as Netflix has been busy working to stop the free sharing of passwords between friends and family members. Now instead of stopping it, Netflix is hoping you will just pay a little bit more to be able to share passwords.

In South America, Netflix has already started to test this by promoting users they suspect of sharing their passwords with an option to buy an extra sub-account. However, it has reportedly not been going well, as many have not opted to pay the extra fee voluntarily.

Most people simply won't pay if they aren't forced to. That's because most people are awful. Now, if that hits you, then that's your problem, not mine. I don't use Netflix a lot, so I am not impacted by this. But when I do use Netflix, I'm still not impacted by this. I don't share my password with others.

I did share it in years past, but I stopped doing that. It's not that I'm not nice -- I am actually a nice person -- but that I don't believe in violating ToS. If Netflix does what they did in South America and roll out a voluntary fee for password sharing, and if I were a regular subscriber, I would pay the fee if I were to share with family.

I'm all about saving money. That's the reason I started streaming and dropped cable over a decade ago. But I'm not going to violate ToS and essentially steal from Netflix. It's a matter of doing the right thing. I'll save money where I can, but I won't steal from others. My Streaming Life doesn't include the cost of my character.

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