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netflix drops sharing crackdown

Netflix sharing crackdown expands to four more countries

Netflix this week expanded its crackdown on sharing to Canada, Portugal, New Zealand, and Spain, the company stated in a blog post. The move comes after it tested the plan in Latin America.

The company, which has seen significant financial losses, blames the bad numbers on the unauthorized sharing of passwords. It is also the target of a major consumer-led boycott over the controversial program “Cuties” which began streaming in 2020. It lost a historic number of subscribers in 2021 ad 2022. Cancellations rose 800% immediately after “Cuties” began streaing.

Others say the loss of subscribers is also tied to “woke” programming that pushes ideology at odds with the beliefs of many viewers.

Boycott aside, Netflix says the new crackdown is aimed at “addressing confusion” around sharing accounts. The company has allowed users to share accounts by creating profiles and permitting multiple devices to be active at the same time, but only for those living together in the same household.

“Our focus has been on giving members greater control over who can access their account,” the company said.

One of the new features is the ability for members to set a primary location for their account, ensuring that anyone living in the household can use it. Members can also manage access to their accounts and devices through a new “Manage Access and Devices” page.

Anyone sharing an account will have the option to transfer their profile to a new account that they pay for, preserving their personalized recommendations, viewing history, and other data.

Last year, Netflix said that the widespread sharing of accounts has been affecting its business and ability to invest in the company.

“Today’s widespread account sharing (100M+ households) undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business,” the company said in a letter to shareholders (pdf). “While our terms of use limit use of Netflix to a household, we recognize this is a change for members who share their account more broadly.”

The firm previously said that it would enforce password-sharing rules by checking device IDs, account activity, and IP addresses. Last year, when Netflix announced plans to crack down on password sharing, it didn’t provide a clear date for when it would start.

Greg Peters, who serves as the co-CEO of Netflix along with Ted Sarandos, said the company anticipates that some users will cancel their subscriptions because of the company’s efforts to combat password sharing.

–wire services

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