Netflix is trying to make it harder to share passwords


Nastia Webber

A digital graphic design representing the Netflix password sharing issue.

The pandemic has been hard enough for all of us. In the wake of all of the hardships COVID has brought, people rely on Netflix for their daily entertainment and comfort more than ever. Now, news has emerged that Netflix is trying to take away the free access for many twenty-somethings who share Netflix accounts with friends or parents. Is this really fair to all of the college students who live off of their parents’ money and resources?

Netflix charges $7.99 for a four-user account, and a one-person account is $8.99 a month. Although less expensive than cable, Netflix is still unaffordable for many—I definitely would not want to pay for a one-person account as a college student.

Many families like to connect by watching Netflix together, but people usually share their accounts with other households to cut down on expenses. When one person gets the family package, at least four people can have their own accounts in the single membership. Netflix is already a successful company with 204 million subscribers, and I understand that they don’t want to lose revenue from freeloaders from multiple households. 

With Netflix cracking down on password sharing between households, there is a question of how they will make sure that people who share an account are actually from one household. Would they have to access the census to make sure, or do they determine it by location? I know that people would not want their privacy revoked just so they could watch a hit television show or movie. 

Would another streaming platform become the new Netflix following the password crackdown? It is hard to say exactly how many people will stay with Netflix after the crackdown, but younger generations may be more likely to abandon Netflix in favor of another platform. 

Netflix is already having a hard time creating new shows and movies in the midst of the pandemic. They only release one season of a show, and then it is unknown when the next season will premiere; people might want to watch something else after the series ends. When there are no new shows and we believe we’ve watched everything, what will we be interested in watching? Something that relates to us? Comedy? Netflix needs to release more shows worth binging to keep the audience entertained. When I can’t find anything interesting on Netflix, I turn to another source of entertainment, like HBO Max or Amazon Prime, for television shows. 

With Amazon Prime, we can subscribe to a channel that we have an interest in and get a seven-day free trial for that channel. This gives people a chance to watch a season of a show without even paying for the subscription. Episodes are also released more frequently than on Netflix, which has not recently come out with shows in each genre. We all are waiting for the second season of several shows at this point, and people are now boycotting Netflix out of frustration. If this continues, Netflix could quickly lose its revenue.

With more streaming alternatives and a crackdown on passwords, I wonder if Netflix’s days are numbered.