Netflix to Start Testing Warnings for People Borrowing Login Info

by | Mar 10, 2021 | Tech Reports

It’s still a small sample size but we have confirmed from a number of Netflix users that the streaming service is starting to roll out a test of warnings to those allegedly borrowing account login information from users outside of their home or family.

For the time being, the number of users impacted seems to be relatively small (there is some loose chatter about specific users receiving these warnings on Twitter and other social networks, but nothing widespread yet).

The warning pops up and requests that users verify that it is in fact their account with a verification code. In other words, if you’re borrowing your ex’s account, good luck with that text asking for them to forward you the code.

Most of the users that we have seen commenting on the test online also mention that they simply pressed “verify later” and the warning has yet to return a second time. Still, this is likely cause for consideration. It is a common practice to share streaming service logins, especially in some sort of trade deal, where perhaps one cordcutter gives a friend their Hulu login in exchange for a Netflix login. The practice isn’t illegal by any stretch of the imagination, but commonly is in violation of many of the streaming services’ terms of service.

While this probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that one of the world’s largest streaming services might start cracking down on password sharing, it does indicate where the market growth opportunity most likely lies. With competition from an almost countless list of streaming services, Netflix needs to pay closer attention to user growth and requiring that people using someone else’s account login sign up for their own account is one way to increase their key metrics.

The most notable part of this whole test is that Netflix has long claimed letting people borrow passwords has been one of their strongest marketing channels. While never officially confirmed, there were reports that Netflix had metrics showing those who used other people’s Netflix accounts were highly likely to sign up for their own accounts. This recent push to drive people borrowing passwords into signing up for their own accounts might indicate an internal shift in Netflix’s customer acquisition data showing a worrying trend for the company.

It will be interesting to see as this test continues to expand in its roll out or if the backlash it will surely generate causes Netflix to pause on their decision. As more people receive this warning, we expect chatter on social media to ramp up and will update this post if we get any confirmation directly from Netflix about the test. Streaming is one of the biggest consumers of broadband internet today, and almost as common as having a TV.

Developing…

(image credit Twitter)

32 Comments

  1. Ok but um what if I’m a broke college student piggybacking on my mom’s account? I have to bug her every time I wanna fucking watch something? Are you fucking serious Netflix?

    Reply
    • You can’t do uber eats for an hour or two on the weekends? There’s always an excuse.

      Reply
      • Really what if I go to see my mom and I want wash a movie so now I can. I’m disappointed

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    • She can pay to you have your own account?

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    • You should be studying not watching netflix

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    • …….then you don’t use netflix? Sometimes when you can’t afford something, you don’t get to use it *shocked face*

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    • Stop buying meal-deals. Buy only a burger and drink water. Pay for netflix..

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    • OK but um if you’re a broke college student, then you can’t afford to pay any competitor to Netflix either, so Netflix has nothing to lose by cutting off your entitled ass.

      Reply
    • Maybe you should spend more time in school than watching Netflix…. Obviously once you verify the device you no longer have to do that. Have you ever used 2 step verification before? Geez.

      Reply
    • It probably only asks once per device

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      • Netflix come on Show some BALLS 🤨🤨🤨🤨 youHAVE PEOPLE USING NEXTFLIX AND DO NOT EVEN LIVE WITH THEM in the same household!!! If you are going crack down start now,,,,

        Reply
    • Exactly. This is dumb!

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    • Yes, if I want to share my login w/ my college age kids, who tf are they to tell me I can’t? I like the suggestion somewhere below to forward all mail from netflix to those sharing the account. I wonder if I can finagle a text forward… maybe using google voice? Hmmmm.

      Reply
  2. The question is what the threshold will be for the number of extraneous log-ins to trigger a warning.

    Reply
    • Most likely location based on device id. If you address watching Netflix in 2 houses miles apart that’s probably a dead give away.

      Reply
  3. Sharing means you are too expensive, Netflix. Think about it, there is a variety of other options available…

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  4. We pay for use on up to 6 devices. Shouldn’t matter where they are!

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    • This^^

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    • This is directed towards those who have single-screen accounts to force them into what you have.
      You are safe, don’t worry.

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    • My daughter was a airline attendant,netflix was always sending me emails to change my password until I spoke to a person and explained why I was getting logins from different countries. Problem solved.

      Reply
  5. What the article doesn’t discuss is how many users will move to a lower priced plan if we can’t share our logins. Netflix has to do the math. Just assuming everyone that borrows an account will sign is short term thinking. Just like the “poor college kid” above.

    If they took it away I would instantly reduce my account from premium $17.99/month to basic $8.99/month a loss to Netflix of $9.00/month.

    Reply
    • Exactly. At $18/month, I already plan to cancel it for six months a year anyway.

      Reply
  6. Just set automatic email forwards from netflix to everyone who has an account.

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    • Please delete this comment before Netflix reads it.. 🙁
      Let this be our secret

      Reply
  7. What about divorced parents? I subscribe for my son, and he lives in two different homes.
    How many millions will they lose?

    Reply
  8. Um u better go look on fb u are about to lose millions of people for your services including me ..my kids use my password …this kind of ain’t right for u to do ….

    Reply
  9. What if you travel? So your spouse logs in from one place and you from another?

    Reply
    • They want you to get a 5 screen premium account for $19 a month to do what you do instead of a cheaper single-screen account.

      Reply
  10. Well Melissa “ain’t right for u to do…” is wring they have every right, it is their company, BUT, I hope they rethink it because it will be a hardship on many people…and we might end up at Disney+

    Reply
    • Not “right”?
      Those who do that are breaking Netflix rules, not laws that society has enacted.
      You are only expressing an opinion that aligns with Netflix’s desires that we obey their rules.
      My opinion is that I have absolutely no obligation to obey Netflix and their desire I obey.
      They really do not want me to buy a share of a free trial that is sold on Z2U for under $2, do they?
      Well, there is no law that says I can’t, therefore I can and do.
      The Borg does not rule me no matter how much it desires to.

      Reply
  11. If Netflix verification codes are sent from the same number, the account holder can set up an automatic SMS forwarding service to the account borrower.

    Reply
  12. “The practice isn’t illegal by any stretch of the imagination”

    Not that anyone is going to get prosecuted for it, but technically copyright infringement is illegal…

    Reply

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