Netflix will never crack down on password sharing, according to co-CEO

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Photo: Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

Netflix is not planning to perform a widescale crackdown on password sharing—ever.

Users began to fear losing access to the app last March when some of them encountered a security measure that required the creation of a new account if you don’t live with the actual owner of the shared account.

To clear the air, a financial analyst asked Netflix executives whether the company is, indeed, “tightening the screws” on account sharing during an earnings call on April 20.

Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said that they were merely conducting a routine test to prevent strangers from using other people’s accounts. “We will test many things, but we would never roll something out that feels like turning the screws,” he said during the call. 

According to PCMag, Hastings went on to imply that a crackdown would put off too many legitimate users, who willingly share their accounts with family members. Hence, the company’s tests to stop strangers from accessing accounts will remain targeted, rather than pervasive. 

“It’s got to feel like it makes sense to consumers that they (the users) understand,” he said. “And Greg (Netflix’s chief product officer) has been doing a lot of great research on…how to try variants that harmonize with the way consumers think about it.”

While a strict crackdown on password sharing could hike up Netflix’s sales, the company said that they prefer to work on customer-centric alternatives. “Optimal business opportunity is trying to figure out a way to best serve our members and trying to figure out the models, the plan types, the right price points, the right features that really work for them in a natural way,” said Netflix Chief Product Officer Gregory Peters.

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