Netflix lets you kick freeloading users off your streaming account

Posted:
in iOS
Netflix has added a feature to its app that lets subscribers boot off unwanted users of their account, ahead of an expected crackdown on password sharing.

Netflix logo
Netflix logo


It is fairly common for Netflix account credentials to be spread around a family or a group of friends, as a way to collectively save money. But, as relationships change, sometimes users no longer welcome to share the account stay on for longer, just to avoid buying their own subscription.

In an update to its iOS apps and those on other platforms, Netflix has added an account management feature that lets users deal with errant account logins.

The Manage Access and Devices option in the menu lists log-ins to the Netflix account, including when, where, and from what device, as well as the profile used. Each item also has a Sign Out button, so you can log out of the account from that device remotely.

This is useful in cases where the account password is kept secret and isn't being actively spread by others. In cases where it is, there's also a link to change the password for the account entirely.

The addition arrives at a time when Netflix is trying to fix its subscriber growth problem. As part of the effort, it wants to crack down on password sharing, and has started to implement features to make it easier for users to move onto their own account instead of using someone else's.

This includes "Transfer Profile to a New Account" to retain viewing history and personalized information, as well as a new cheaper ad-supported tier.

There may also be a financial incentive for users to boot freeloaders from their account. Netflix has tested an "Add an Extra Member" fee in a number of countries, which could make the cost of membership prohibitive for accounts with very high numbers of users.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    I don’t have Netflix anymore as I’m not paying their top price for a single 4k device.

    That said, everyone I know who uses Netflix also shares their subscription with other households so Netflix do have a big problem…
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    neilmneilm Posts: 964member
    aderutter said:
    I don’t have Netflix anymore as I’m not paying their top price for a single 4k device.

    That said, everyone I know who uses Netflix also shares their subscription with other households so Netflix do have a big problem…
    Netflix could easily cut back on some of the sharing through technical means, but I suspect they don't want to piss off their users.

    This is one way for Netflix to get the account owners to do some of the dirty work for them. Smart move.
    edited November 2022 dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Apple gets it, Netflix doesn’t. Apple lets me include my mother on my family plan despite not living in the same residence. Netflix costs me more and seems to think she shouldn’t be part of my plan, despite paying for 4 simultaneous streams of which I can only use two in my own residence. Bollocks.
    Japheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,135member
    Apple gets it, Netflix doesn’t. Apple lets me include my mother on my family plan despite not living in the same residence. Netflix costs me more and seems to think she shouldn’t be part of my plan, despite paying for 4 simultaneous streams of which I can only use two in my own residence. Bollocks.

    What's nice too with ATV+ is that you don't need a family plan to use more than one device at a time with different streams running.
    With Apple Music you need a family plan to have multiple devices playing different music.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,651member
    Silly question, but hasn’t the registered owner of a Netflix account always had the option to change their password and thereby sever “freeloaders” from sharing their account?

    All the verbiage around Netflix “cracking down,” or more accurately, no longer implicitly encouraging account sharing is a very clumsy dance of doublespeak. Netflix doesn’t have a “subscriber growth problem,” they have a revenue problem because too many people who are using their service are doing so without paying for it. Likewise, subscribers don’t have any problems with “unwanted users” sharing their account because in most cases the account owner has invited those people to share their account or conspired with a group of people to share a single account.

    The fact is that Netflix was fully aware of the sharing and did nothing about it until their bottom line started to bleed. They were part of the problem and simply need to fess up to fixing it even if it is publicly embarrassing. Something like: “Sorry folks, we screwed up and now we’re fixing the problem we helped create. The party is over, but we hope you stick with us anyway.” It’s a business. Run it like a business.

    Personally, I’d like to see them do something like allowing subscribers to purchase a certain number of location-independent floating licenses at a graduated rate, say 3 licenses for $x and 6 licenses for $x+, and allow that many simultaneous users to be streaming from anywhere at any time. If you buy 3 licenses and a 4th person tries to log-in, even with a valid password, it’s a hard stop. If you’re the account owner you’d also be able to bump another user offline so you can go online. The whole notion of “unwanted users” is sheer lunacy. If I’m paying for the service there should never be a single “unwanted user” using my account, plain and simple. Also, I don’t want Netflix deciding who gets throttled or bumped. If I’m paying for the pie, I get to decide who gets a piece. 
    ITGUYINSDwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    dewme said:
    Silly question, but hasn’t the registered owner of a Netflix account always had the option to change their password and thereby sever “freeloaders” from sharing their account?

    You beat me to it!  Whether the freeloader has your password or not, just change your password and voila! -- everyone but you and those you share the new password with are disconnected.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,742member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    dewme said:
    Silly question, but hasn’t the registered owner of a Netflix account always had the option to change their password and thereby sever “freeloaders” from sharing their account?

    You beat me to it!  Whether the freeloader has your password or not, just change your password and voila! -- everyone but you and those you share the new password with are disconnected.  

    Nope. Not with Netflix (and probably other subscription services.).

    Somewhere in the Netflix account setting menu, there is a list of devices that were used to log into your account. The list contains 12 (maybe it's only 8 now) of the most recent devices that was used with your account. This list is what allows you to not have to log in, every time with that device. You just click on the Netflix app and you're in, without ever needing to enter the password.

    Once you have more devices that is allowed on the list, the device on the bottom of the list gets knocked off and will now require entering the password, to log back in. However, you can remove any device you choose from the list. So in order for the "freeloader" to use your account, once you delete their device from the list, they have to enter a password again. And if you change the password, then they can no longer log in your account automatically. If you don't delete their device from the list, they can continue to use your account with that device, as they are never required to enter the new password with that device.

    It has always been a two step process to prevent freeloaders from using your account. It wasn't that intuitive back then, but maybe Neflix made it much simpler now.

    I have purchased many used Wii game consoles, TV boxes and smart BluRay players from the Goodwill, where if I were to click on the Netflix app in the menu, I'm in on the original owner account. To avoid this, one need to reset the device to factory or log out of Netflix inside the app on that device. Or you go to your account and delete the device from the list.  
    dewmewatto_cobraspheric
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