Netflix Walks Back Password Sharing Rules After Subscriber Outcry

One of Netflix's most controversial updates might not end up happening. On Friday, a report from The Streamable indicated that Netflix has walked back the specifics of its upcoming measures to combat password sharing, removing the info from their official website as of Wednesday, February 1st. The info detailed new rules that would block devices used outside of the home of the primary Netflix user, unless they verify their access on a monthly basis. The proposal was met with nearly-universal disapproval from subscribers, many of whom outlined multiple living situations in which this new policy would not be feasible. According to a statement from a Netflix spokesperson, these new rules are only in place in certain countries, and any potential changes would be communicated to subscribers before they actually occur.

"For a brief time yesterday, a help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, went live in other countries," the spokesperson explained "We have since updated it."

Why is Netflix ending password sharing?

While the exact extent of the efforts to end password sharing have not been made clear, previous reports have indicated that tracking IP addresses, login location and account activity could all eventually be on the table for U.S. subscribers.

"It feels a lot like the way you manage a price increase. … Consumers aren't going to love it right out of the gate, but we need to show them why they should see value," former CEO Ted Sarandos said during an appearance in late 2022.

Another option floated has included asking subscribers to pay extra for the ability to share passwords. Across the years of speculation about these measures, previous reports had indicated that the company loses up to $1.62 billion annually because of users sharing passwords.

"We've landed on a thoughtful approach to monetize account sharing and we'll begin rolling this out more broadly starting in early 2023," the company previously said in a quarterly statement. "After listening to consumer feedback, we are going to offer the ability for borrowers to transfer their Netflix profile into their own account, and for sharers to manage their devices more easily and to create sub-accounts ('extra member'), if they want to pay for family or friends. In countries with our lower-priced ad-supported plan, we expect the profile transfer option for borrowers to be especially popular."

What do you think of Netflix walking back its measures to end password sharing? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!