Streaming service Netflix is running a test project with which it hopes to end multiple account sharing and ultimately gain more subscribers.
Those who subscribe to Netflix can also opt for the option of multiple screens for a slightly higher price. The idea is that a family with the same subscription can watch two or more different screens at the same time. But it is also common for friends or family members who do not live at the same address to share an account to reduce costs. An account with four screens (15.99 euros) is a lot cheaper than four individual accounts (four times 7.99 euros). By sharing an account, users can access multiple streaming services without having to pay the full pot everywhere.
To track down that abuse – and eventually recruit more subscribers – Netflix is now running a test project involving a pop-up screen asking for confirmation that the viewer lives with the Netflix account owner. This is done by entering details from a text message or email sent to the owner of the account.
Viewers can temporarily defer verification and keep watching, but the message will pop up again when the account is opened next time. If they continue to ignore the question, they will eventually no longer be able to use the account, but will be suggested to create their own account with a free trial period.
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using the accounts are also authorized to do so,” the Netflix spokesperson said. It is still unclear whether and when the verification will be applied on a large scale.
According to Netflix, the streaming service has more than 200 million subscribers worldwide. In the first months of the pandemic, more than 26 million users would have been added, but growth has slowed somewhat recently. The competition from newcomers such as HBO Max and Disney + also has a lot to do with that.