Netflix is expanding its test to include users who share their accounts with other households.
Netflix is stepping up action against account sharing.
For the Netflix streaming service, so-called account sharing has been a problem for several years. This is where users give their account login information — which usually supports streaming to multiple devices at the same time — to friends and family members, allowing Netflix to evade their possible subscription fee.
Netflix registers usage in other households
The company is currently testing a new way to crack down on account data sharing, read more at Netflix Tests Account Sharing Outside the Home: Chaos. In Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, the service registers if the Netflix account is used for more than two weeks on a device outside the registered address. While the use of Netflix on smartphones and laptops is allowed indefinitely, the service sounds the alarm when streaming on TV sets outside the main household.
Paid “Home” extensions
Netflix then encourages users to purchase additional “Home” accounts. In Argentina, each additional residence with a TV set costs the equivalent of USD 1.17 per month, in other countries it is USD 2.99. With the basic subscription it is possible to add another household, in the standard tariff two additional households are allowed and in the premium tariff up to three.
Netflix tracks IP addresses and devices
In order to determine whether account sharing is operated with Netflix in the countries mentioned above, the company tracks users’ IP addresses, device IDs and account activity. In order to also give its users insight, Netflix is working on a home management service in the test countries. Here, customers can track exactly how many devices their account is being used on and can restrict access. It is not yet known whether and when the stricter tracking of account sharing will also be applied in Germany.