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Netflix begins clampdown on password sharing

Global giant video streaming site Netflix has officially began ending password sharing in the United States of America. On Tuesday, Netflix sent emails to subscribers who share their account information and passwords with other users outside their households.

According to the company, a Netflix account is meant for use by one household. They estimated that more than 100 million households worldwide share an account and passwords. The company said it lost more than one million subscribers in the first six months of 2022.

“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account with features like profiles and multiple streams. While these have been hugely popular, they’ve also created confusion about when and how you can share Netflix. Today, over 100 million households are sharing accounts — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films,” Netflix said in February 2023.

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The crackdown on password sharing comes after Netflix reported a decline in subscribers in 2022 for the first time in their decade in operations. In a statement from April 2023, Netflix CEO Gregory Peters said they intended on carrying out the transition properly and as thoughtfully as they can.

Prior to rolling out this clampdown on password sharing in America, Netflix was already working in other countries including Canada, Spain, New Zealand and Portugal as early as February 2023.

As it rolls out the process in America, Netflix also announced that by the end of June 2023, it will have ended the sharing of passwords in the USA and other countries.

However, they gave a condition to households who wished to continue sharing passwords with other households in America. Netflix users who subscribe to their standard and premium packages will be allowed to share their passwords at a fee of $7.99 (Sh 1,103) a month.

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The account holder will be required to set up an account and give the primary location before allowing secondary account users to access the account. This will allow people who don’t live with account holders in the same residence access to their account.

Netflix said their purpose in ending password sharing is to give members greater control over who can access their accounts. In addition to an additional monthly fee, users will be able to manage their accounts from a newly rolled out Manage Access and Devices page, transfer profile to a new account which they will pay for while keeping their personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List and saved games.

In Kenya, Netflix continues making huge strides in membership subscription, having cut down on its subscription fees by between 20-60 per cent in March 2023.

It also reported gaining 2.4 million subscriptions after announcing the price cuts. Kenya’s subscribers make up the more than 7 million subscribers Netflix has in Africa, its smallest market yet.

Also read: Netflix reduces subscription prices in Kenya