Netflix finally addresses password sharing restriction reports

Netflix has addressed all the password sharing change reports — although it’s not likely to quell the backlash the streaming giant is currently facing.

Last week, there was uproar when a support page on Netflix Costa Rica’s website stated that users would have to set a primary location and devices that log onto the account from another location will need to request a temporary access code… or be blocked.

This caused a lot of confusion about whether people could access Netflix while travelling, at work, out and about on their phones, filming a Netflix show on location, the list goes on. Facing a huge blowback online, the streamer said that the page was published in error.

Now, Netflix has issued an update on its website in an attempt to clarify what the situation is and how it will affect users.

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The update begins by reiterating that the company intends for there to be one account per household, and following the introduction of these changes in Latin America, the measures have now been introduced in New Zealand, Canada, Portugal and Spain as well. “Over 100 million households are sharing accounts — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films,” the page reads.

Bullet points go into more specifics about the practicalities of these changes, with one stating: “Members can still easily watch Netflix on their personal devices or log into a new TV, like at a hotel or holiday rental.”

A new Manage Access and Devices page will be available in account settings to track what devices are signed in to an account and where, while up to two ‘sub accounts’ can be added to an account for people living in different households to keep all their details.

These are cheaper than getting a brand-new subscription — a ‘sub account’ costs $7.99 a month in Canada, compared to $9.99, for example — but if you do want to start a totally new account, Netflix is offering an option to transfer a person’s viewing history, watch list, game saves, etc. over.

The tweet linking to the update post hasn’t changed the tide of negative feedback, with many people still confused and/or stating that they will outright cancel their subscriptions now.

Netflix CEO Greg Peters previously said that the company expects people to drop the service, but just how will this wave of account sharing clampdowns affect subscription numbers and revenue? Is Netflix shooting itself in the foot? Will the continued backlash cause the changes to be reversed? Time will tell.

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