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Netflix Might Start Cracking Down on Password-Sharing

No official announcement has been made.

It’s no secret that if you have a Netflix account, your friends and family are going to want you to cough up the password so they can have access without having to pay. But having multiple households on one account could become a thing of the past, as streaming service is apparently planning to start cracking down on password sharing in the future.

The topic of multiple people using the same account came up during Netflix’s quarterly earnings call, where it was acknowledged as an issue that the company is aware of. Fortunately for password-borrowers, it doesn’t sound like there are any concrete plans to start shutting down sharing, as product chief Greg Peters explained there was no clear timeline for trying to stop account-sharing.

“We continue to monitor [password sharing],” Peters says. “We’ll continue to look at the situation and we’ll see those consumer-friendly ways to push on the edge of that, but we’ve got no big plans at this point in time in terms of doing something different there.”

While a basic Netflix plan costs $8.99 per month, for $15.99, a single Netflix account can be accessed on four different screens at the same time. However, this plan is meant to apply to a single household, as Netflix’s terms and conditions state “any content viewed through the service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”

But it’s well known that many users are sharing their account with people outside of their household and up to this point, Netflix hasn’t done much to limit that. But it sounds like they may start trying to figure out a way to restrict account sharing, though how they plan to do that is not clear.

The timing of this announcement is interesting, as it comes just as Disney+ is gearing up to launch in hopes of overtaking Netflix as the top streaming service. If Netflix starts preventing people from sharing passwords, could that encourage even more people to opt out in favor of Disney+? It’s hard to say but we will be interested to see how the streaming wars shape out.