NEW YORK (AP/WJW) — Many of us were taught to share as kids. Now streaming services ranging from Netflix to Disney+ want us to stop.
That’s the new edict from the giants of streaming media, who hope to discourage the common practice of sharing account passwords without alienating their subscribers, who’ve grown accustomed to the hack.
Netflix began cracking down on password sharing earlier this year, according to Deadline. The company started a new test that encouraged users to create their own account if it appeared they were using one belonging to someone else.
Those included in the test received a message on their screen that read, “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.” The New York Times says that in order to keep using the platform, users had to verify that their account by entering a code that was sent to them via text or email.
Netflix’s COO and chief product officer Greg Peters told Deadline the company’s goal was to ensure they are “good at making sure that the people who are using a Netflix account — who are accessing it — are the ones who are authorized to do so.”
Password sharing is estimated to cost streaming services several billion dollars a year in lost revenue. That’s a small problem now for an industry that earns about $120 billion annually, but something it needs to address as spending on distinctive new programming skyrockets.