It Might Be Time to Stop Using Your Parents’ Netflix Account

It Might Be Time to Stop Using Your Parents’ Netflix Account

Families who have freely shared their login information with adult children living all across the country may need to prepare to purchase their own individual subscriptions. Netflix has begun testing a new way to discourage the practice of account-sharing, with some users receiving a message on their screens that reads “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.” To continue, users need to verify their accounts by e-mail or via text code, and are given the option to start a thirty-day trial if they cannot do so.

According to Netflix, this is merely one of a number of routine tests run by the company each year. A Netflix statement reads: “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.” Netflix terms declare that “The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” Research firm Magid reported last year that one-third of subscribers share their password with someone who does not live in the same household.

The plans currently offered by Netflix begin with Basic ($8.99), which allows streaming on only one device.

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Standard ($13.99) allows streaming on two devices, while Premium ($17.99) ups the availability to four devices.

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Because there has not been a limit on the number of devices that can be simultaneously logged in, users have been able to avoid issues aside from when different people using the same account are trying to watch at the same time.

Netflix was at the forefront of a revolution in how audiences consume their television when it first forayed into original programming almost a decade ago, but the market has become increasingly saturated, especially within the past two years. Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, and Peacock are just a few of the prominent competitors that offer a diversity of options, and their growing prominence is likely one of the main reasons Netflix is exploring ways to enforce a policy it has never previously sought to ensure is not being circumvented.

As of this writing, this message is only appearing on TV devices, as reported by The Streamable. Those currently using someone else’s account may have some time before they need to pay for their own Netflix access, but this is an indication that the company has finally started paying attention to one of the most poorly-kept secrets in today’s media world.

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