Streaming giant Netflix is set to crack down on password sharing and aim to eliminate it altogether by 2023, which isn't far off considering we'll be ushering in the new year next week.
Password sharing has been a bee in Netflix's bonnet for a while as not everyone who uses the streaming service actually pays, instead logging into a friend or family member's account to check out what's on.
2022 has not been the greatest of years for Netflix after their projections of adding 2.5 million subscribers turned out to be wrong and they actually saw a drop of 200,000 paying customers.
Netflix admitted that off the back of those disappointing results their revenue growth had 'slowed considerably', leaving the platform trying to find new ways to bring in more subscribers.
One of their ideas has been to introduce a cheaper subscription tier with adverts, though this has had the unwanted consequence of some viewers not being able to watch certain shows because they have licensing restrictions.
Another of their big ideas is cracking down on password sharing in the hopes that many of the viewers watching Netflix on someone else's account will decide to subscribe themselves.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix identified password sharing as a major problem back in 2019 but didn't know how to tackle it without putting people off.
After all, their aim in cracking down on people sharing around passwords is to get more subscribers signed onto their platform, not to drive away those already forking over a few quid each month.
A boom in subscribers during the pandemic moved the issue to the back of many minds, but the unexpected drop in paying viewers earlier this year made it a hot topic once again.
An earnings report said Netflix had worked out a new system for monetising account sharing and would be unveiling it in 2023 after some successful pilot schemes.
Throughout the year, Netflix has been working on possible ways to clamp down on password sharing, with the introduction of extra payments for other households being trialled in various countries.
These trial runs have told viewers if they don't live with the person who owns the Netflix account they'll need to get one of their own, though account holders have been able pay a little extra on top of their subscription to add more households and people.
Members in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru were able to pay extra to add more members to their account, while they also had the option to transfer their profile to a new account.
Viewers in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were part of a later test for the 'add a home' feature, where subscribers had to pay extra if someone in a different household wanted to watch Netflix on their account.
The streaming service insisted they 'will not make changes in other countries until we better understand what’s easiest for our members'.
In the UK, it might actually be against the law to share the passwords to your streaming services, with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) warning that 'accessing without paying a subscription' could land you in legal trouble.
Featured Image Credit: Chris Bardgett / Alamy Stock Photo / Jakub Porzycki / Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: Netflix, Money, TV and Film, News