Is Netflix about to crack down on users who share logins?

Is Netflix about to crack down on users who share logins? Streaming giant says it is ‘monitoring’ customers who let friends and family in different homes use their passwords

  • Netflix’s chief product officer said it would consider ways to block the loophole
  • But he said there were ‘no big plan’s to announce any changes at the moment
  • Users must still have the flexibility to share the account in family households 

Netflix has revealed it is ‘monitoring’ people who hand out their passwords to their family and friends.

The company’s chief product officer, Greg Peters, said on a vlog last week he would try to find ‘consumer-friendly’ ways to stop groups of people sharing one subscription.

The video-streaming service currently costs between £5.99 and £11.99, with the option to watch up to four screens at a time.

But as long as they’re not all watching at the same time, more people can use the same login as long as they know the username and password.

Netflix currently limits users to watching two screens at a time on a normal subscription but, as long as they don’t watch at the same time, more people can share the same login details (stock image)

Speaking in a video interview about Netflix’s earnings in the third quarter of 2019, Mr Peters was asked what the company planned to do about password sharing.  

He said: ‘We continue to monitor it so we’re looking at the situation and we’ll see [whether there are] consumer-friendly ways to push on the edge of that but I think we’ve got no big plans to announce at this point in time of doing something differently there.’

His interviewer suggested Netflix would need to be aggressive to crack down but avoid ‘alienating’ its users. 

Sharing passwords among groups of people ends up leaving Netflix out of pocket because all those users are people who won’t buy their own subscription.

However, the company must keep flexibility so families can share subscriptions across multiple devices in the same household, for example.

Netflix already limits how many people can use a single account – users must pay extra if they want to have three separate screens in use at the same time.

Netflix's chief product officer, Greg Peters (pictured), said in a video interview the company would be looking at 'consumer-friendly' ways to stop large groups of people sharing a subscription

Netflix’s chief product officer, Greg Peters (pictured), said in a video interview the company would be looking at ‘consumer-friendly’ ways to stop large groups of people sharing a subscription

A possible technology which could be used to monitor users is AI which can work out how many people are associated with a single account. 

For example, at the consumer technology conference, CES 2019, in Las Vegas in January, experts unveiled an AI-powered system designed to crack down on account sharing.

Video software provider Synamedia said roughly 26 per cent of millennials give out the credentials for video streaming services to other people.

And its new software will be able to analyse which users are logged in and where to quickly flag shared accounts.

Additional research found that by 2021, credentials sharing would account for $9.9billion (£7.6bn) of losses in pay-TV revenues. 

The software – Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight – uses behavioural analytics and machine learning to keep tabs on credentials-sharing activity across streaming services.

The system allows the operator to specify how many users should be using a single account – useful for family sharing accounts, for instance.

The AI can then monitor a subscriber database for any potential fraudulent activity.


Tinder, Hinge, Netflix and Tidal can all track user activity even when ‘Do not track’ is selected on the phone’s setting. 

Facebook, Linked, Instagram and Spotify have access to your messages alongside the majority of dating apps. 

More than half the sites listed on vpnMoniter, including Tinder, Match and Happn, are also able to gain access to numerous hardware and software information about your mobile device. 

These include the operating system, timezone, signal strength and location data even when the app is not in use. 

A number of sites including Facebook and Instagram save extensive data about third party sites users visit, including ‘purchases, ads seen, sites visited, device information, and service use.’

These also included Twitter, Spotify and Netflix. 

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