The Netflix password sharing crackdown has finally arrived in the US, UK, and Australia, starting from May 23rd, as the platform expands its controversial policy to multiple new countries.
According to a recent announcement, the streaming giant will send emails to anyone sharing their Netflix password outside of their 'household' beginning immediately. The letter will apparently state to Netflix members that subscriptions are only meant for them and the other people they live with. It has a link that will give you instructions on how to kick someone off your Netflix account remotely.
But let’s say you really, really want to share an account with a buddy. Well, Netflix is giving you two options: You can transfer another person's profile over to them, and they'll then have to pay the monthly membership fee; or you can spend an extra $7.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 to add a friend to your account. That’s nearly the cost of a basic Netflix plan on its own. If you want to add more people, you’ll have to spend an extra $8 for each one. So things could get get pretty expensive.
Netflix’s Help page provides important information regarding the extra member feature. The other user will have their own password and profile. However, the original owner will be paying for everything. So you’re not really adding a new person; you’re just buying another subscription. Also, extra members must live in the same country as the owner, and they can't create additional profiles.
What we’re seeing here is basically what the platform has already done to other countries around the world. Spanish users, for example, have to pay €5.99 to add a friend. Netflix has said in the past that US enforcement of the password rules would start by June 30, though we thought we might get more of a heads-up than this.
It’s important to mention the current password crackdown expansion is affecting other countries too. In addition to the US, UK, and Australia, people living in Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, and the Philippines will begin receiving those finger-waving emails. The option to add extra members will be available in those countries as well in their respective currencies – you can find information about pricing at those links.
We checked out Netflix for other nations of the world. Besides the 14 being affected, it looks like everyone else is safe – for now. We asked the platform if it has plans to expand the password crackdown to other countries. This story will be updated with any comment we receive.
It’s totally understandable if you’re not too keen on the new policy – lot of other people aren't either, judging by how Netflix's password crackdown is off to a terrible start. That being said – the new fee might be worth paying for people on the Premium Netflix package.
The good news is you have options. Max, formerly known as HBO Max, allows password sharing, even if they’re not happy about it. Or, while we're not condoning it, you can try a VPN to bypass Netflix’s rules. That apparently still works. For help with that, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best VPN services for 2023.
Update May 25, 2023: A Netflix representative got back to us and revealed the password update will also rolling out to five more regions. They are France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Brazil. There's no word on how much it'll cost to add another person to your membership for those countries. We're still waiting to hear back and will update this story when we do.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.