The era of Netflix password sharing will end in 2023. Netflix has experienced a tumultuous year as a streaming platform. Shortly after the first tax quarter of 2022 came to a close, Netflix reported a huge subscriber loss. Since then, Netflix has toyed with a number of different ideas of how to gain subscribers, among them was a lower-tiered ad-supported subscription tier, which Netflix launched this past November. Another idea floated involved taking measures to limit password sharing among users, which may now be taking off.
The feared password sharing is finally around the corner, as Netflix indicates that they will end password sharing in 2023. As per the Wall Street Journal, Netflix is planning to implement systems that will make users pay to share their Netflix passwords with devices outside their homes. Netflix has already begun testing this system in Latin American countries’ Netflix version, in which users outside the primary account holder’s home are prompted upon signing in to enter a validation code on screen, which expires after 15 minutes. If users do not want to go through this process upon logging in, the primary account holder can opt to add up to two users. The exact mechanism by which they will do this for the US based Netflix has yet to be announced.
Will This Help Netflix Gain Subscribers?
Netflix’s impetus for this change remains clear, the streaming platform is eager to try and maximize subscribers. As with their ad-supported subscription tier, cracking down on password sharing is an attempt by Netflix to gain new subscribers, rather than relying on the ones they currently have who are inviting friends and family to partake in their subscription with them. It is their hope that by limiting those outside the home who can consistently access Netflix accounts, those who were previously unsubscribed will be driven to subscribe to the platform.
If the password sharing ban goes anything like Netflix’s other changes have, however, the streaming platform may not see the massive subscriber gain that they hope to, as Netflix’s ad-supported subscription tier has been reported to be the least popular on the platform. Additionally, users have complained about several major shows like Arrested Development and House of Cards not being included on the new payment tier, which of course upsets viewers who were looking for a cheap alternative to the full Netflix experience. According to the early reports out of the Latin American password sharing tests, consumers have already complained about how the anti-password sharing version of Netflix is operating. If Netflix continues implementing strategies that displease customers, the platform could risk alienating even more of its subscriber base.
Alternatively, the end of password sharing could end up boosting the number of people subscribed to the ad-supported platform. Those who no longer can mooch off of a parent’s or someone else’s Netflix subscription might be more likely to make their own account at the $6.99/month price tag. In this respect, some may find it smart of Netflix to roll out the ad-supported plan first. Customers saddened by the loss of a free Netflix experience now have a lower-cost option for their daily fix of Wednesday, Sex Education, or The Sandman, but time will tell whether they take advantage of this as Netflix introduces its password-free self in 2023.