Netflix officially begins password-sharing crackdown in Australia


After months of speculations and tests overseas, Netflix has finally pulled the lever on its password-sharing crackdown in Australia, meaning users will no longer be able to share accounts with those who don’t live with them. Here’s how it works.
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Key Takeaways
  • Netflix told users in Australia and the US that an “account is for use by one household,” urging subscribers to sign out of their accounts on devices that “shouldn’t” have access to the user’s account, and set a primary location for the account.
  • The streaming giant, which previously encouraged password sharing has since clarified its position, stating it is not happy with the 100 million households who are sharing accounts.
  • An extra member option is being offered to users on standard or premium plans which will cost $7.99 per month.
  • Australian customers will receive an email outlining the exact changes.
  • Users will still be able to watch Netflix from their personal devices or log into new TVs at hotels or other locations, the company said.
How does the crackdown work?

If a user does not set a primary location, Netflix will use the IP address and device ID and automatically set it up.

If users want to add an extra member “sub-account” for up to two people they don’t live with, they can do so for an additional fee.

Users will also be able to transfer a profile to a new account to keep their watch history and saved list.

In short, if you’ve been mooching off your mum and dad’s account, your luck has run out.

Key Background

Earlier this year, Netflix announced it was instituting password-sharing restrictions in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.

Netflix began testing paid sharing, with the same restrictions U.S. users will now face, in its Latin America market last year. Netflix is one of the first major streaming services to start cracking down on password sharing, in a move likely prompted by last year’s loss of subscribers and the need for additional revenue.

Big Number

100 million. As of February, that’s how many households share their passwords, Netflix said.

How has the crackdown been received overseas?

The service began cracking down on passwords in Canada, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal earlier this year, building on an approach rolled out initially last year in Latin America. Despite some cancellations, the streaming giant remains optimistic about its future.

“We’re pleased with the results of our Q1 launches in Canada, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal, strengthening our confidence that we have the right approach,” Netflix said in an investor letter.

“With each launch, we learn more about how best to roll out these changes and what matters to members the most, in particular maintaining travel/watching on the go and the ability for people to better control access to their accounts as well as transfer profiles to separate accounts,” the letter continued.

“We could have launched broadly in late Q1, but we found enough improvement opportunities in these areas to shift a broad launch to Q2 to implement those changes.”

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