Sharing Your Netflix Account? Not for Much Longer

News Netflix Sharing Ending Featured

The more streaming services that are being offered, the more that TV bill can mount up. You may be paying for a number of streaming services. This leads many people to share their logins with friends and family to help cut down on that cost.

Netflix has announced they will be cracking down on that and not allowing it to be that easy to share an account, but you have some time it seems before it gets to that point.

Netflix Sharing Crackdown

It probably wasn’t Netflix’s intention to let people share their Netflix account with aunt, uncles, grandparents, cousins, the college dorm, work friends, etc.

They want you to be able to share it with the people you live with and/or your immediate family. And being that you can set up separate profiles for each user, it makes it even easier so that your browsing history doesn’t have to be the same as your parent or child.

But we all know that’s not necessarily how it’s being used.

Netflix product chief Greg Peters spoke at the company’s Q3 2019 earnings event last week and said they want to address account sharing without “alienating a certain portion of [the] user base.”

“We continue to monitor it, so we’re looking at the situation,” he added. “We’ll see those consumer-friendly ways to push on the edges of that, but we’ve got no big plans at this point in time in terms of doing something different there.”

It’s unknown how they would crack down on sharing accounts, but it’s been suggested they could track IP addresses. If they did that, however, it would prevent families who live in different locations from sharing. This means it would prevent a college student from using their parent’s account, but it also means they wouldn’t be able to share it with their entire dorm.

News Netflix Sharing Ending Profiles

They already prevent more than two screens from watching content at the same time to help police this.

Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities explains “they also have a way to track device usage and can require two-factor authentication, although they haven’t rolled that out yet.”

Tech firm Synamedia announced it can track shared passwords on streaming services using machine learning which could be used to force users to pay for their own account.

“Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore,” said product chief Jean Marc Racine,” speaking at the CES event in Las Vegas earlier this year. “Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action.”

“Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service,” added Racine. “It’s a great way to keep honest people honest, while benefitting from an incremental revenue stream.”

How Will This Affect You?

Perhaps Racine should speak for himself. I’m a casual user as well as an honest user, but I’m not interested in paying more for Netflix than I already do for that “honest” use for my family.

And I’m guessing the people who aren’t being “honest” aren’t going to suddenly agree to cough up the money to be honest.

How will this affect your use of Netflix? Will a crackdown take away honest users of your account? Are you willing to pay more for your honest use? Tell us in a comment below.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. All I can say is that if they start casting the stink eye at me for allowing my daughters who attend college in another city to share my account or even having to justify their usage I have no problem cancelling my subscription (I already have the premium 4 stream account). This is just silly, I pay for their service, they limit the number of concurrent streams already so what is the problem? Netflix’s problems run much deeper than this and I can’t think of a better way to piss off your customer base than to start pointing fingers at them.

    1. I agree with Jason! I do not share my account with anyone other than my immediate family (wife and kid). I was annoyed with the limite on streaming devices (2 currently). Like Jason I have other option and honestly TV/streaming is simply a luxury for my family. We do not need it, so if they were to crack down, I would simply cancel payment. Then if a show comes out I want to watch, go over to a friend or family members house and watch it there. Plenty of competition in the market right now, so I have no sadness for moving on.

  2. I agree with Jason. My daughter lives on her own and has allowed me to use her account. There are only the two of us use it and I think I use it more often than she does. If Netflix starts to eat into our usage by limitations or extra costs we might just forget about Netflix. I use an old laptop at the moment as my desktop is malfunctioning. I will change back when I have repaired the desktop, so machines can change for quite legitimate reasons, including when I re-install a new version of Linux for instance, it takes on a new identity. Over a couple of years I might have two installations to get it just right for my pernickety little soul. On some occasions I have installed two or three times in quick succession to get it just right. Imagine the kerfuffle if Netflix used individual machine IDs in that situation.

  3. My daughter pays for her own account. It’s not a million dollars a month, it’s a few dollars. Why should she “share” my account? It simply doesn’t cost that much. Also, my son doesn’t “share” my account. He has his own account, along with others. I don’t “share” his either.

    So, with all this sharing going on, I can see their point. They’re in business to make money. People take advantage of situations, thereby ruining it for everyone else. This constantly happens all the time, the few spoiling something for everyone else, and immediately everyone is painted with the same idiot brush.

    There are actual situations occurring where a problem can arise, however, that’s what their customer service is there for. They can, and will, adjust to fix the problem. Just not for chislers.

    1. Ralph W
      Question is why wouldn’t you share your account with your daughter and son assuming they are part of your household since according to the Netflix agreement that is perfectly ok to do according to NetFlix terms of service. If you choose not to take advantage of that allowance that is certainly your choice but you shouldn’t scoff at others for using their account as agreed to in a contract. If they no longer reside in your household then you are 100% correct in not sharing.
      I’m including an excerpt from their terms of service found here

      4.2. The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household. During your Netflix membership, we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access the Netflix service and view Netflix content through the service. Except for the foregoing, no right, title or interest shall be transferred to you. You agree not to use the service for public performances.

      4.3. You may view Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time. The number of devices on which you may simultaneously watch depends on your chosen subscription plan and is specified on the “Account” page.

  4. Well, my children don’t live in my household. And to clarify, there are many people who share their account with all kinds of relatives that don’t live in the household. Of course, if they live in the household, it’s different – Duh! The question didn’t specify “children living in the household.”

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