Netflix Password Sharing Crackdown Means You Must ‘Check In’ At Home Once A Month

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Netflix Password Sharing Crackdown Means You Must ‘Check In’ At Home Once A Month
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New details are emerging about how Netflix plans to enforce its upcoming global crackdown on password sharing, which right now is live in just a few countries including Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.

One constant question through all this is how Netflix is going to prove who is account sharing and who is just traveling or staying in a second household. The methodology for checking appears to be…somewhat cumbersome.

On the FAQ pages for the regions where the password sharing crackdown is already live, Netflix explains you have to have a device “check in” at least once a month on the home network:

“To ensure that your devices are associated with your primary location, connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days,” the company says on its support page.”

So, what this means in practice is that if you’re say, a college student using your parents’ Netflix plan, you would have travel home once a month, bring your laptop or tablet, “check in” on the Wifi and watch something on Netflix. If instead you’re using Netflix on a TV you can’t bring with you well, you’re out of luck, since that’s exactly what Netflix is trying to kill off.

As for traveling, the FAQ says that a temporary code can be given out for travel that will allow seven consecutive days of account access without being blocked. But obviously we are in a situation that has many complications, like longer trips, temporary moves, split households, etc. The system seems ripe to have accounts blocked that maybe shouldn’t be, and Netflix says if this happens, you will need to contact Netflix directly to get your device unblocked. I’m sure that’s an easy process…

Netflix claims 100 million people are password sharing on Netflix, and they want to convert at least some portion of those into active users with their own accounts or add-ons to existing ones. But with how clunky this sounds, it feels like you’re just going to see a whole lot of cancellations or switches to other services that do not have these kinds of systems in place. And a lot of annoyed customers who get frustrated with Netflix if X or Y device is blocked in X or Y location and they have to call Netflix tech support to sort it out. I wonder what they’re going to lose compared to what they think they’re going to gain.

But if this works? You may see all streaming services start to adopt this, as while they may not be saying it publicly like Netflix, none of them want people password sharing fundamentally. We’ll see what happens when this expands.

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