NETFLIX has postponed its password crackdown for now – but millions of customers are still bracing for impact.
The popular streamer has simply moved the goal post, instead of axing it altogether.
Many in the UK and the US hoped Netflix had quietly scrapped the decision, after introducing fees for password sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain last month.
However, the streamer has announced that password sharing will be blocked for users in the US by July.
Netflix had initially planned to bring in the ban in the beginning of this year.
However, in its first quarter results yesterday, the company announced the ban would instead be imposed between April and June.
Netflix is expected to let customers know an exact date closer to the time.
Under the current rules, Netflix subscribers are not supposed to share their passwords with people outside their household.
However, this hasn’t stopped users from giving their account details to friends and family so they can save cash.
When the move was first confirmed in October last year, the company faced a global backlash from customers, with people vowing to quit the platform in favour of other streamers such as Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.
The password sharing crackdown was trialled in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala last year.
The company is aware the decision is unpopular.
But it said it is trying to “improve the experience” for customers.
In a statement released today, Netflix said: “We learn more with each rollout and we’ve incorporated the latest learnings, which we think will lead to even better results.
“To implement these changes, we shifted out the timing of the broad launch from late Q1 to Q2.
“We are planning on a broad rollout [of the password sharing crackdown], including in the US, in Q2.
“We’re pleased with the most recent launches of paid sharing, and while we could have launched broadly in Q1 [the first three months of 2023], we found opportunities to improve the experience for members.”
While many are disappointed that they will have to now start paying more for the same service, the rule will help stop anonymous freeloaders from using your Netflix account for more than 30 days.
Netflix hasn’t said how much it plans on charging in the UK or US.
Canadian subscribers are being charged CAD$7.99 to add an extra member as a “sub account”.
Meanwhile, Portugal subscribers can add a “sub account” for €3.99 and customers in Spain must spend €5.99.
To understand how Netflix will be able to see who’s using your account, The Sun has an explainer here.
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