In a significant move, Netflix has implemented restrictions on password sharing in India. The popular streaming platform now allows one Netflix account to be used exclusively by users living in the same household, introducing stricter regulations to keep users in check.
Before this change, users had been sharing passwords with friends and family members residing miles away from them, but now, Netflix has put an end to this practice. To ensure compliance, it will verify a home device using a verification code, and the device must connect to the home Wi-Fi network at least once a month.
Netflix had been contemplating this move for years, as it recognized that password sharing was impacting its subscriber growth. In 2019, when the platform experienced a drop in subscriber count, password sharing emerged as a major concern. However, the surge in subscribers during the COVID-led lockdown overshadowed the extent of the issue.
In 2022, it faced its largest quarterly loss ever, losing 970,000 subscribers. As a response, the platform began restricting password sharing in certain regions. This move was risky, as it could have angered users and raised questions about the company’s goodwill, which it had built over the years. Netflix, which once tweeted, “Love is sharing a password,” was now setting boundaries.
Despite the potential backlash, the strategy seems to have paid off. In the second quarter of 2023, Netflix gained 5.9 million paid users, a stark contrast to the 1 million subscribers lost in the same quarter the previous year. This growth has alleviated some pressure on the company, but drawing a hard line on password sharing remains a tricky task.