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Netflix Password-Sharing Crackdown Comes to U.S. Subscribers

Netflix cracks down on password sharing

The Take

  • Netflix is cracking down on password sharing in the U.S., emailing customers new guidelines.
  • In addition to regularly priced subscription plans, the company is offering the option to add an extra member to your account for $7.99 a month.
  • There’s no word yet on when Netflix will restrict access for viewers outside of the primary household.
  • Only 30% of and experts will purchase the additional Netflix account.

Netflix announced a crackdown on password sharing in the U.S. during its Q1 investor call, but last week it started to email users to let them know that love is actually not sharing a password. What will the password crackdown entail? So far, users sharing an account with people outside of their household have received emails from Netflix about checking who is using their account and buying an extra member for $7.99 per month.

Will Netflix lose subscribers or remain steady as it has in other countries where the company introduced password sharing? Will more people flock to the ads subscription of the streaming service instead?

All of that remains to be seen, but we looked at what’s next for Netflix and asked the streaming experts at and some of our friends at

Netflix needs to turn a profit, and the company estimates over 30 million non-paying households in the U.S. It needs to convert those users to grow the service. But forcing them to sign up for an account may alienate a customer base overwhelmed with too many streaming services.

How will the Netflix password crackdown affect you?

As a regular viewer of Netflix, you may have been waiting for this password crackdown. If you share an account with family or friends outside of your household, Netflix wants you to pay up.

What does the password crackdown mean? Basically, Netflix wants to monetize password sharing and charge $7.99 a month to create accounts for family members or friends outside your household. But how will Netflix know they don’t live with you? The company relies on IP addresses and device location verification.

(If you’re fed up, we have suggestions for other streaming to check out.)

There’s no word yet on when Netflix will remove access for viewers outside the main household. However, Netflix did send emails to customers and let them know that sharing between households is ending soon. Some viewers, including one of the experts at, have received notifications on their TV saying they are not in the “primary household.” (There is an option to receive a code if traveling, as well.)

The company offered the option to sign out devices and change your password. If you want to continue sharing Netflix, you can transfer the profile to a new membership—starting at $6.99 a month with ads or $15.49 without ads—or add an extra member for $7.99 a month.

Will subscribers stick it out with Netflix?

Will Americans sign on for this new version of streaming? According to a straw poll of experts—and our streaming friends at—only 27% think they’ll go for an additional account.

Considering over 80% of respondents (from our very informal survey) share their Netflix accounts, the company could lose two-thirds of its customer base with this crackdown. (It is also interesting to note that around 20% did not receive an email from Netflix even though they share an account.)

While Netflix has begun to crack down on password sharing in the U.S., subscribers have numerous streaming options to choose from and may leave the service before paying more per month for Netflix.

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