UPDATE [February 4th]: Netflix has clarified that the new set of rules is only applicable in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. The help center article containing information regarding the new rules for password sharing accidentally went live in other countries as well but has since been updated.
After announcing its plans to bring an end to password sharing, Netflix is in the process of rolling out anti-password-sharing functions across its markets to prevent multiple people from accessing a single Netflix account. Some recent changes to the platform’s account-sharing policies intend to generate fresh revenue that is otherwise lost when users share Netflix passwords outside of families. This has been highlighted in Netflix’s updated FAQs section of its India website.
We elucidate how Netflix plans to prevent users from sharing passwords in India and elsewhere by bringing in an OTP system.
Who can use your Netflix account?
Netflix will allow account holders to share passwords but only with immediate family members within a physical household. To ensure this, the company requires users to log in from their home location via the home Wi-Fi network and stream content via the Netflix app or website at least once in 31 days.
Netflix while travelling
In case users are travelling, Netflix will allow using its services at say a hotel TV. This can be done by requesting a temporary code from the service to authorise the sign-in. This will allow users to access the account for seven days while travelling.
However, Netflix could block the account if the above process is not followed while using accounts away from home.
Preventing Netflix from blocking your account and devices
Netflix determines an account’s native or home location using some key information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity. The service then uses this data to allocate a primary location for an account. Normally, Netflix allows users to keep a tab on devices that use the account outside the home location and account holders can sign out of such devices and change their passwords.
However, the anti-password-sharing drive requires account holders to sign into their home Wi-Fi networks once every 31 days and use the platform’s services to “trusted device” status and prevent Netflix from blocking accounts.
It is possible to allow users to access a Netflix account outside a home location. This will require verification from the main account holder. To verify a device:
- When trying to log in, Netflix will share a link to the account holder’s registered email address or mobile phone number.
- The link then redirects the user to a page that displays a unique four-digit verification code.
- The off-location user would then be required to enter this code within 15 minutes post which the code will expire. If the code expires before being punched in, a new verification code must be requested.
- The off-location user can then access Netflix services. However, it is possible that this verification process might be required periodically.
How many people can share a Netflix account?
Netflix offers a choice of four plans and multiple device support for users in India. These plans differ in pricing and also allow a variety of users or screens along with them. Netflix could perhaps rejig the current pricing on its plans and charge users to request login credentials from main account holders if the company doesn’t register a decline in illicit password sharing.
Netflix plans in India
Netflix currently offers a choice of four plans in India and has recently introduced a price cut to make its offers more lucrative. The base or Mobile plan allows one user access to mobile screen streaming for a monthly price of Rs 149. Viewers availing of this plan can view content in Standard Definition (SD) only. The highest plan currently allows a total of six screens and compatibility across four devices. Viewers can enjoy the content at Ultra HD resolution and benefit from Netflix’s Spatial Audio technology. This plan is called the Premium plan and sets one back for Rs 649 a month. Check out a detailed look at Netflix plans here.