Netflix might be making shared accounts a thing of the past. The company seems to be monitoring who is using which accounts a bit more closely, and users are starting to get messages that prompt them to start their own Netflix account if they don’t live with the owner of the account they’re using.
Upon login, some Netflix viewers are seeing the following message before they start their binge of choice: "If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching." To continue watching content, they have to first verify the account they’re using with a code sent to the email address or phone of the user.
If they aren't able to verify the account, they're prompted to create their own account with a 30-day free trial. According to Streamable, the test is only currently showing up on connected TV devices, so if you're watching on your laptop or phone, you won't be seeing the message just yet.
"This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so," a Netflix spokesperson told the outlet. Netflix did not clarify how they determine who is in the same household, or if a shared IP address counts as being in the same household.
While Netflix states in its terms and conditions that accounts are "for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household," users have been sharing passwords for years, and the streamer's latest effort appears to be a firm crackdown on the trend.
Back in 2019, Netflix Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said the company was looking to limit password sharing among its customers, perNewsweek. "We continue to monitor it, so we're looking at the situation," he said at the time, but admitted Netflix had “no big plans to announce…in terms of doing something differently there.”
While Netflix has different tiers that allow customers to add up to four devices, they don’t have limits on how many devices your account can be logged into. So while you could be sharing your password with six other users, as long as you’re not all watching Ginny & Georgia at once, you’re able to fly under the radar. But with Netflix’s new test, it’s less likely you can pull it off.