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Netflix Says No More Free Pass On Password Sharing — For Real

Image of the side view of a home. The Netflix letter N is downstairs in the center, with four televisions and one mobile phone surrounding it in other rooms.
In a blog post titled "Update on Sharing," Netflix explained what steps subscribers need to take to add additional users who do not live in the same household as the primary account holder. Those additional users will cost $7.99 a month.
(Courtesy Netflix)
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You might be able to sneak through the supermarket express line with 13, rather than 10, items in your cart. But if you think you can keep sharing your Netflix password … well, the streaming platform has other ideas.

What's changing

Netflix has started rolling out its promised crackdown on password sharing outside of the primary account holder’s home, sending an email to account holders outlining how they can start paying for unauthorized users.

Analysts estimate the password sharing practice costs Netflix billions of dollars in annual lost revenue. They also say the crackdown could mean that paying subscribers will cancel their subscriptions.

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What you'll need to do

To start, it’s invitational — if you go to your account settings, you will see a new message about “extra members,” where subscribers are told “People who are not in your household will need to sign up for their own account to watch.”

You can add extra family members (or friends, acquaintances or work colleagues) for an additional $7.99 a month. But that fee is close to the cost of a new and separate subscription, which starts at $6.99 every month for Netflix’s new advertiser-supported service, or $9.99 every month for a regular plan.

Why now

“We recognize that our members have many entertainment choices,” Netflix said in a blog post titled "Update on Sharing."
“It’s why we continue to invest heavily in a wide variety of new films and TV shows — so whatever your taste, mood or language and whoever you’re watching with, there’s always something satisfying to watch on Netflix.”

The streaming company reminded users they can still use their own login information when traveling.

And if you really believe that Netflix doesn’t know who’s logging in to your account and where they are, well, good luck with that.

Note: John Horn's wife is an in-house attorney for Netflix.

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