Netflix is not only the most popular streaming service in the world, but it’s also arguably the number one network in the United States in terms of total hours of programming watched.
If you have a Netflix account you can view programming on your TV, computer, tablet, and phone. Your favorite shows are everywhere you are, with plans priced between $9 and $16 per month. But the company is still losing out on a lot of money due to users sharing their passwords with folks who don’t have subscriptions – a whopping estimated $1.6 billion dollars a year.
That’s why the company is cracking down on password sharing. As part of the terms of service for a Netflix account, users agree not to share the password with anyone outside their household. That would include extended family, grown children, and friends. In fact, if you read those terms before you agreed to them, you’ll see that Netflix reserves the right to either cancel your account or put it on hold if they find you’ve been sharing it with people outside your household.
However, some studies show that up to 35% of people admit that they sometimes share their passwords. How would this crackdown work? Most likely, the company would use artificial intelligence to monitor login behavior. For example, if the account holder lives in Pittsburgh and they continually see logins from Pittsburgh and Cleveland, they’ll know something is up.
Or, if you are in the same city, they see logins from an unusual IP address. Or even if a pattern of viewing or watching behavior seems out of sync with previous behavior.
Although Netflix hasn’t said anything along these lines, using a Netflix account you haven’t paid for is technically theft. And if you do it for a long period of time, you could be committing what amounts to grand theft. So if you’re letting someone use your password, it might be time to gently suggest they get their own account or consider giving them a Netflix gift card or just inviting them over to watch Stranger Things.
If you’re using someone else’s password, it’s time to shell out for your own account.