The Netflix password-sharing crackdown has begun — it's worse than we thought

(Image credit: Getty Images/NurPhoto)

Two European countries, one South Pacific island, and a North American nation are now in Netflix's crosshairs as it cracks down on account sharing. Fortunately, the U.S. lucked out (for now).

In a recent update, the streaming giant announced that subscribers in Portugal, Spain, New Zealand and Canada will no longer have the luxury of sharing their passwords with loved ones outside of their household.

If this news impacts you, our hearts go out to you! Here's a quick guide if you need to cancel Netflix in a hurry.

Netflix's harsh new password-sharing policy hits four new countries — more to come

Netflix kicked off its password-sharing crackdown with Latin America, and now, the streaming giant is continuing its restraint rampage with four more countries: Portugal, Spain, New Zealand and Canada. You may be wiping your forehead that your country isn't on the list, but it's only a matter of time before you're next.

At one point in time, Netflix turned a blind eye to account sharing. It even seemingly championed for it when it tweeted, "Love is sharing a password" on its official Twitter account six years ago.

The streaming giant changed its tune in recent years, and finally, it's pulling on the trigger on blocking subscribers from unauthorized password sharing. Why did Netflix do a complete 180 in its stance? According to Netflix, over 100 million households are sharing accounts, which is "impacting" its ability to invest in new TV shows and films. In other words, it wants more money, of course. After all, it is a business. But the question is, will it lose money from bitter subscribers or will its bottom line benefit from the move?

"A Netflix account is intended for one household and members can choose from a range of plans with different features," the streaming giant said. Under Netflix's new rules, members must set a primary location, ensuring that everyone who lives in their household has access to the account. 

If you want others outside your household have access to your Netflix account, the streaming giant said that you must have a standard or premium account, which lets you add up to two "outsiders" to your subscription for a price. To be specific, it's "CAD$7.99 a month per person in Canada, NZD$7.99 in New Zealand, Euro 3.99 in Portugal, and Euro 5.99 in Spain," Netflix said.

Netflix chart

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix also addressed concerns about travel and account management with the following bullet points:

  • Traveling members can still easily watch Netflix on their personal devices or log into a new TV, like at a hotel or holiday rental. 
  • People using an account can now easily transfer a profile to a new account, which they pay for — keeping their personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List, saved games and more. 
  • Members can now easily manage who has access to their account from our new Manage Access and Devices page.

If you were hoping the Netflix would shy away from its determination to squeeze out more money out of subscribers with its new password-sharing crackdown, you're sadly mistaken. After testing its anti-sharing plan in Latin America, Netflix is going full steam ahead with its unpopular new protocol, whether we like it or not.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!