Netflix users are canceling their memberships due to new password sharing rules

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Netflix has been threatening to crack down on password sharing for well over a year now, ever since they had their first quarter with a net decline in users in March of 2022. Now that change is here. Netflix says people can only share an account in one physical household, with one internet connection. Additional members logging in anywhere else can be added for $7.99 a month. The company doesn’t allow any exceptions to this policy. However, this doesn’t apply (yet) to smartphones or tablets, you should be able to stay logged in on those until Netflix figures out what to do with them. This change is not going over well with Netflix subscribers, and some people are even cancelling their memberships over the new fees:

Netflix’s password crackdown has arrived in the US, and impacted users are already complaining about the new policy.

On Tuesday, Netflix announced that it would no longer allow American users to share an account between households. The streaming platform said account holders could “buy an extra member” for an additional $7.99, per Insider’s Beatrice Nolan.

As the restriction begins to impact users in the US, complaints are rolling in from frustrated subscribers who don’t appreciate the change. Some have even gone as far as outright canceling their memberships and encouraging others to do the same.

Impacted users are sharing the message that appears onscreen when an account is accessed from outside of the membership holder’s home. One user said they were prompted to verify their identity when they tried to watch Netflix while at a hospital.

“I canceled my Netflix membership so fast. it’s the principle. They already charge us to share our accounts, that’s how it went from $8 to $15,” one user wrote. “Like no, you’re not charging me to tell me who I’m allowed to share my password with f–k Netflix.”

The frustrated voices echo the complaints that first arose when the company opted to move forward with its “Extra Member” plan in February. The move was introduced as a way to help Netflix return to growth after suffering subscriber losses in 2022.

[From Business Insider]

The example in the article where someone is trying to watch Netflix at the hospital is one of several reasonable exceptions to this new policy that I could think of. What about active duty service members who are deployed overseas? What about travel nurses, flight attendants, pilots, or long haul truck drivers? There are a lot of people who aren’t logged into a “home” WiFi every 31 days for good reason. Should they be penalized because they spend extended time away from their families?

Also, Netflix raised prices already in order to charge people for sharing. Celebitchy covered their pilot program for this change back in 2022. Now there’s another charge on top of that. It’s Disneyland-level nickel-and-diming. While some reports say Netflix is profitable, it’s been underperforming and its stock has been on the decline. It currently has about $14 billion in debt. Its net income for the fiscal year 2022 was $4 billion, a 16% decline year-over-year. So at some point it’s going to have to raise more revenue, continue to slash its production budgets, or both in order to pay off that debt. Could that be the real reason why they’re charging people to share passwords?

I’m not sure I’ll keep my Netflix account active anyway. I mostly use it to watch old shows like Gilmore Girls. Netflix used to have  strong in-house series, but whenever I log on, I’m largely uninspired. Netflix is now betting on the strategy of quantity over quality. But more variety isn’t the way to lure subscribers in, if that variety is mostly mid-to-forgettable. Netflix has forgotten that what keeps subscribers loyal is content so good that they can’t imagine their lives without it. That’s a high standard to reach and it also means Netflix to provide an environment where the people who make the shows–including writers!–can feel free to take creative risks. That may have been true at Netflix for a while but every golden age must end.

These are photos from XO, Kitty, Firefly Lane and Queen Charlotte, which are among the top ten shows on Netflix now. Credit: Netflix and Getty

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56 Responses to “Netflix users are canceling their memberships due to new password sharing rules”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    This was a really dumb move on their part and I’m glad that they are already seeing the negative affects. I wonder if this will sink them entirely?

    • Sue says:

      We have reduced our subscription to the basic one. Two people shared out password. One has gotten his own subscription and the other one isn’t even bothering to get on. I wonder how many will simply start (or have already) streaming elsewhere?

    • Chica says:

      I love this only because I work in schools and students use vpn to get around school networks.

      However Netflix content has sucked lately so dropping them and returning later is no biggie.

    • Dutch says:

      Netflix has rolled out their new ad tier in conjunction with the crackdown so they are counting on people downgrading their accounts to and either paying the fee or all the customers on the previously shared accounts ending up with ad accounts

    • Robert Phillips says:

      All the people complaining and unsubscribing are crooked to begin with. Netflix is a business. It isn’t a basic need. You want to use it. You have to pay for it. You want your kid at college to have it. Pay for it. Yes I feel sorry for the soldiers. But it’s the same premise. People are always trying to get something for nothing. And this author writing about creating good content. Where is the money for this good content going to come from? Anyone out there complaining about this. Go look in a mirror and say “If I ran this company what would I do to make the company successful?”

      • Ricci says:

        Well Said ^

      • Yonati says:

        If someone is stealing fruit from your market, you raise the price of the fruit to make up for the loss. People have long been sharing Netflix passwords even though Netflix has always said “no sharing.” Now they’re enforcing it and people are mad that they can’t steal Netflix anymore. Yeah, they’re a BS Corporation, but it’s not like this was a big surprise.

      • Dee Kay says:

        Whoever “Robert Phillips” is, he sure has commented a lot on this thread. Paid shill from Netflix or related industry agency to shift people’s thinking so they endorse this move by Netflix? Hmmm…

        The move is unpopular, Robert Phillips and other industry shills!!!!!! Go suck eggs. People feel it’s Netflix being unduly greedy. That’s the gut-level reaction and no amount of telling people “You’re stealing, you ungrateful bastards” will change their minds.

        The fact is, people LIKE TO SHARE THINGS. Corporations would love for everyone to pay for every single thing they use but the fact is people who lived in one house paid for one TV and they all shared it even though they all watched different shows. People share books and music. Always did. Now they use the internet to do it and it’s easy to share across big distances (you don’t have to live in the same house).

        As for “Who’s going to pay to make the content? If I were running the company what would I do to make it successful?” Well guess what moron, it’s NOT THE CUSTOMERS’ JOBS TO FIGURE OUT THE BUSINESS MODEL FOR THE COMPANIES. The companies do what they want to — they ALWAYS do. The customers can also do what they want to — including say that they feel insulted and annoyed by a company’s policies. It’s the COMPANY’S JOB to figure out how to address their customers in a manner that keeps them on their side and buying, and doesn’t alienate or offend them.

      • Holly says:

        People signed a contract for a service. The terms of that contract have been changed multiple times. We have every right to complain. Bootlicker.

      • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

        What Holly and Dee Kay said. LOL.

      • Vera says:

        Not true about being crooked. I am the only user of my account, but I use it when travelling. So this change will stop the only reason for me to have Netflix.

      • ElleE says:

        @Dee Kay you are so right- people like to share.

        Back in my single days I definitely would’ve been sharing my password with every deadbeat dated and then changing it after we broke up. Lol

      • LUCKSTER says:

        Umm… screw you? I work as a pet-sitter and house-sitter, and I log-in to tv’s all over town. When I leave, I log out. I’m the only one who uses the account. Am I a crook? Go lick a boot, capitalist stooge. If Netflix didn’t have to “grow” every year to satisfy stockholders, this wouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

  2. Nicole says:

    This sucks on so many levels. Both my parents are seniors and I am often over to their houses. For example, I was recovering from surgery at Dad’s then moms. I personnally don’t believe there is enough content for me to keep it, especially with Peacock, Hulu, and Paramount, unless they begin to license some of their other content.

    That said, I love love loved Wanda Sykes comedy special this weekend! It was hilarious. Go watch it before you cancel your subscription.

    • Twin Falls says:

      +1 on the Wanda Sykes special

      I don’t share with anyone outside my household so this doesn’t affect me but this seems incredibly shortsighted by Netflix management. They should have just figured out how to price a “family sharing plan” that didn’t come across as punitive.

      • Robert Phillips says:

        I’m sure they will. When all the smaller streaming services go out of business. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon. And now no one can afford to have all of them. So none of them are making any money. I figure when the dust settles there will be Netflix, Disney, and Prime. Netflix is still the largest. Disney already has decades of content. And Prime also has all the people using the free shipping.

    • Lukie says:

      AND FUBAR!

  3. Becks1 says:

    I feel like raising the subscription prices to allow sharing was a reasonable step. This just seems too extreme and too hard to regulate. There are lots of people who don’t log in from their home wifi once a month – maybe they travel extensively for work, are deployed, etc. But I also assume a lot of those people are using tablets and not TVs? Regardless, it would seem that the higher price for more devices makes more sense than just banning sharing like this.

    Now that said…I know a lot of people who do share passwords across households just because. A LOT of people. And they’re not traveling, deployed, with a kid in college, etc. So I’m sure that’s what Netflix is trying to prevent, but like I said above, I think this is too extreme.

    • Karall says:

      We pay $23 a month for a premium account in Australia. Netflix has already appeared greedy with their 12 monthly price rises and the reality is I just don’t watch it enough to justify the cost, the content is just not consistently good enough to overlook how this new change negatively impacts my lifestyle. I have no issue subscribing for a month to binge a series if any tempt me and then dropping them again. In Australia Prime, Disney, Stan and Binge are doing a better job.

  4. WiththeAmericann says:

    Corporate greed is their only obligation. I’m so sick of late stage capitalism!

  5. Emb says:

    I wasn’t too worried about all this because my household is just my husband and I – it’s just us on the account and seemed to fall well within the rules. But I’m currently travelling and can no longer download! It’s saying downloads are now restricted to one device (my husbands iPad maybe?!)

  6. Ace says:

    This started in my country a few months ago and I cancelled my subscription. I was sharing with my parents and I also gave out the password to a friend, but I was paying the highest amount so all of us could watch a the same time. They lost the subscription and I don’t plan to subscribe again unless they roll it back, and that would only be a maybe after this.

    I think it’s a very shortsighted move. Maybe years ago when they were the only game in town it could have worked? Now there’s plenty of other services. I still have a subscription to HBOMax and Prime Video. And since I’ve been online for years, I have sailed the high seas way before Netflix was a possibility for me and it has never gone away completely.

    • Robert Phillips says:

      And people like you are why this is happening. You said yourself you gave your password to a friend. And your parents who live in another house. That is two subscriptions Netflix lost because of password sharing. And that’s just one person. Imagine this all over the world with all their subscriptions. This is out and out stealing. Regardless how you feel about it. They are a company. And a company makes money. And if people steal from a company they have to stop it somehow.

      • Melissa says:

        That’s fine, buddy. You can police on behalf of netflix all you want, and we are more than allowed to cancel our subscriptions because of the constantly changing rules. How many subscriptions will Netflix lose because of this? My husband and I travel frequently for health reasons. The only one that has an issue with us logging in multiple places is Netflix. So bye bye to that subscription!

      • Kath says:

        They limit the number of screens. In my mind, I’m paying to stream on three different screens and the owners of said screens should be none of their business. That’s what I’m purchasing every month and paying extra for

      • adrienne says:

        But isn’t this exactly why they raised rates before? For people that share across households? I was paying for the $20 plan because I share with my mom, my brother and my partner who all live in different households. Now I’m supposed to pay an additional $24 to share with them on top of the $20? I’d rather just cancel altogether since the quality of their content has dropped so much in recent years. Maybe I’ll pay for the $6 level for a month here and there depending on if they have a show I want to check out at the time.

      • Anners says:

        I’m with you Kath – I pay for the number of screens that can watch simultaneously. Why do they care who is using it? I shared with my parents and my brother. When they cut down on sharing in Canada (a while ago now), I dropped down to the most basic (but without ads) level. Still trying to decide if I keep it, or cut it and go with Crave.

      • Frankie says:

        I pay for 4 log ins. I upped it from 2 years ago bc my kids were always fighting about who could watch. I pay for my daughters everything, including cable bc she’s in college. In another state. There are only 4 of us in my family. We should be able to watch anywhere bi already paid more for this service and should be able to use this. It’s ludicrous. And I agree with the poster that called you a boot licker. You suck

      • jj says:

        netflix didn’t “lose” those subscriptions. i have an account with 4 slots. i should be able to use those slots however i want. this is the system THEY set up. they have effectively changed their rules, reducing the value of their product. seems like netflix is the crooked side here.

  7. Demona says:

    My mom’s husband works for several months at a time in different places and stays in temporary housing. Now they have to pay extra for both of them to watch. I stay at my place on weekends and her house on weekdays since my son goes to a school near her due to my job hours being incompatible with school hours. Now I have to pay 2x for not sharing with anyone (she has her own account on her TV, I have mine on the spare bedroom). Now they’re losing 2 customers bc of this

  8. Unfortunately I’m hooked on a few of their shows that are still being made. Bridgerton being my number one. I don’t share my password with anyone so I will stick it out a little longer.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      I’m at one other family home often and watch there a lot and on travel. So it’s probably goodbye for me.

      • Vera says:

        same for me. I am often away from home for weeks at the time so just switch to Disney plus instead.

  9. Elisabeth says:

    We were out of town this weekend and couldn’t watch Netflix on our vacation TV. What’s the point of a streaming service you can only watch at home?

  10. Nikki says:

    I LOVE Netflix, and have watched so many more of their movies and shows than Apple or Amazon Prime (which advertises movies that they charge you for). The Last Kingdom, Empress, Orange is The New Black, all 3 Bridgertons, etc etc etc. I think they have the most creative and varied programming, and that costs money. My daughter is going to pay the $7.99 a month for me to stay on her plan in thanks for my babysitting, but her sister and brother are going to have to pay for their own, as they should! It works out to $2 /week people: support creativity with at least the cost of a cheap coffee!! As far as accessing it remotely, they really do need to work that out! If Netflix goes under, it would be even worse than when IKEA pulled out of its’ plan to open a store in my hometown….:(

    • Ace says:

      support creativity with at least the cost of a cheap coffee!!

      LOL, maybe you should tell that to Netflix itself since they’re the ones not paying the writers.

      • Nikki says:

        I don’t know much about the writers’ strike, if there is a network more at fault. I certainly support paying the writers!!

  11. Sean says:

    I keep Netflix for Stranger Things. It’s my comfort show and I love having it on in the background in addition to doing rewatches.

    However, once the final season airs and the entire series is released on DVD I may decide to cancel my subscription. The price hikes and all of this tomfoolery is a huge turnoff.

    But I’m also a big fan of some of their documentaries so we’ll see.

  12. Lauren Too says:

    I still live at my parents and pay for the family used account. Problem is I travel for work and am out of the house for several months and mostly download stuff to watch off line since I don’t always have internet access, this for me sucks on so many levels. As I use my tablet I’m still in the clear, but I might have to cancel our subscription in the future.

  13. HeyKay says:

    Netflix needs to get some new shows.
    I’ve been thinking of cutting them off for months now.
    I’m getting used to leaving the tv off or Youtube in the background.
    Not paying more for any streaming, I cut cable years ago, never going back either.

  14. lucy2 says:

    I haven’t watched a new, original series on there in quite some time, and really don’t watch much on it at all.
    I would imagine that they’ll end up changing some of the rules here, but who knows.

    FYI though, the stock is up like 25% this month alone, and today had another jump up, so it’ll hurt them in membership but I guess the market likes them charging more. I’ve had shares of it off and on for a long time, it’s been a good performer for me.

  15. Jessamine says:

    My parents are primarily living with me for the next 18 months while they’re building/renovating a home about five hour north that is in both of our names. Do they honestly expect us to get a second account when the price hike already made me feel “iffy” about keeping the subscription?

  16. Miasys says:

    This is some bs. We’ve had Netflix for over 15 years, only share with our daughter in college, who still lives at home when not in school. We travel a lot and I’m dreading this. I think we’ll probably ditch Netflix after Stranger Things comes out.

  17. OriginalCee says:

    I share with my whole family in 5 households LOL. I pay the top membership too. I guess we’ll see if this is implemented in Argentina (they tried to make us pay per additional household and then backtracked a month later).

    I don’t see myself cancelling because it’s the only way to get some shows in latin america that are streamed elsewhere but not available here. I get HBO MAX, Paramount+, Disney+/Star+ through membership programs so I guess I only pay for Netflix and Prime Video.

  18. pyritedigger says:

    In addition to a lot of obvious points about how restricting to one physical location is foolish– one reason Netflix and streaming services were better than cable was that flexibility– you could log in and watch wherever. So I go visit my mom over the summer and I can’t watch Netflix with her on my own account (she doesn’t have Netflix). This is bollocks.

    But Netflix ultimately lost me as a subscriber because they keep making shows and canceling them. It seems like a lot of good shows, even those that performed well but weren’t “Stranger Things” level phenomenons just get the axe. They do almost no promotion for shows. Why should I invest my time when they don’t? What they have is an endless supply of cheap reality television that I don’t watch aside from a couple of the cooking/baking ones. There is so much competition out there, they are just shooting themselves in the foot.

    • I'm not eating zoodles says:

      I totally agree! They keep cancelling the shows I love, which is infuriating enough as it is. But it also reduces my desire to start watching any new Netflix programming, because I think “Why bother getting invested? It’ll probably just get cancelled anyway!”

      I want to watch the new Wanda comedy special and Extraction 2 (don’t judge me; i love crappy action films, lol!) and then I’m cancelling my membership. I’m not going to pay that much money, for shows I only barely enjoy.

  19. Saschafrom76 says:

    I cancelled
    When they raised prices they indicated this was going to happen so I immediately opted out sending the message I’m not here for the crackdown. bummer I missed a lot of good content but I’m Not here for this and I e found a ton to watch elsewhere. Cheaper or free. Let them Rot. I started with them when they were brand new knew some of the people. They left everyone behind they don’t care find another channel if you do. Hulu is way better anyway

  20. Rnot says:

    So the business that feasted on Blockbuster’s failure to recognize and adapt to changing market conditions is going to follow the same path into oblivion twenty years later.

  21. Kokiri says:

    We watch Pluto. It has commercials.
    So does Netflix, apparently, & Pluto is free.
    So is Gem. Not sure if US can access Gem, but it’s got some great tv.
    We also use YouTube. You’d be surprised what you can find there. At the start of the pandemic we watched all the original Godzilla! Dubbed, the entire films. Don’t knock it, watching old shows is pretty neat. Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, Love Boat. Like that.

    My point is, Netflix is already not so great. They cancel amazing shows & are producing crap tv. They spent how much for Knives Out?! Too much. Good movies but let’s be serious.

    Once you cut the ties, it’s a bit surprising how nice it is. And that Robert guy whom is everywhere on this thread? Don’t @ me, you just look ridiculous posting like mad, simping for a billion $$ company.

  22. Vera says:

    I specifically kept my Netflix subscription for travelling, I dont share my password, I just want the freedom to log into a smart tv wherever I am staying, as I do a lot of home swapping working remotely. I also have a second home for visiting family. Netflix worked for me as I could log in anywhere and pick up where I left off any series and I could watch something in English. I know you can still watch on tablets, but I prefer to watch stuff on TV.
    There is zero point for me to keep Netflix just to watch at home, I already have full Sky ‘cable’ with plenty to watch. So if this happens to me I will just cancel and go back to torrenting.

  23. Scene Stealer says:

    I was ready to cancel Netflix when “Lockwood and Co” was cancelled, but hung on when”Queen Charlotte ” came out. Netflix deliberately suppressed a positive review of “Lockwood and Co” according to a reviewer and did no promotion of the show. The fans scoped out what Netflix was trying to do early on and mounted a vigorous campaign to save it only to be ignored. Password sharing doesn’t affect me, but the lack of quality content may force me to cancel in the near future.

    • pyritedigger says:

      Them canceling Lockwood & Co was a big reason I canceled my subscription. The show had amazing reviews and is up for awards! It did really well also, just wasn’t one of those super viral hits. Paying more and being told where to watch and then Netflix pulling the plug on shows makes it so I will never be a longterm subscriber.

  24. Jenn says:

    When my relationship with my now-husband was first getting serious, I asked him, “Important question: Which of us gets to keep our Netflix account?” and then I immediately launched into pleading: “Oh please let me keep mine, I’ve put in hours training my algorithm since 2003, and my recommendations are perfect!!” (This is THE ONE decision I ever won by being 5 years older than my husband.) We have never shared a password with anyone else because, you know, I’m so protective of my precious algorithm. But lately I’ve been spending half my time bouncing around L.A. and so, with one fell swoop, Netflix has effectively *taken my account away from me*. To say that I’m heartbroken is not an overstatement. As a result, I’ve been digitizing my DVD collection and setting up a Plex media server at the house. I will build my own whole entire Netflix if I have to.

  25. KrystinaJ says:

    I cancelled my Netflix membership due to this. My son’s dad and I share custody (Week on, week off), and this b.s. meant that my kid wouldn’t be able to use it on the weeks he’s at his dad’s.
    So STUPID.