Netflix Can Fix Password Sharing Problems Without Crackdown

Netflix has been trying to crack password sharing for more than a decade. But last year, and more strongly this week, the company launched serious sign that the party is almost over. Rather than slashing this beloved latitude indiscriminately, however, Netflix could make some basic tweaks to cut down on the parasites without annoying longtime customers who just want to help one person. friend.

In one letter to shareholders on Tuesday, the streaming giant said it posted a net loss of about 200,000 subscribers for the quarter, from 221,840,000 to 221,640,000. And Netflix is ​​predicting that those numbers will continue to drop to about 219,640,000 people by the second quarter of 2022. The company estimates that there are more than 100 million additional households, including more than 30 million in the US and Canada, is making money from salaries. Accounts.

Shares of Netflix plunged Wednesday morning, and the company is clearly in classified mode.

“I feel like Netflix is ​​in crisis response mode and swinging the big pendulum in one direction,” said David Kennedy, CEO of incident response consulting firm TrustedSec. give users the tools they need to solve that problem first. “Even warnings that say, ‘this doesn’t look like you’ may be a better approach than taking a hard line against shared accounts.”

The shareholder letter states that “relatively high levels of household penetration – when including large numbers of account-sharing households – combined with competition, are creating revenue growth headwinds” and it plans to get back on track “through improvements to our service and more efficient monetization of multi-household sharing.”

One basic thing Netflix can do to limit the number of people using a shared account is to add a list in Settings of all the devices the account is active on, with the ability to choose which devices to hold and remove. That way, account owners can easily drop the list — sign out of devices they don’t recognize and Roku at the Airbnb they stayed at last year. Currently, Netflix only offers a log of devices that have recently used the account, and the option to sign out all devices at once.

Sure, disconnecting any devices associated with your Netflix account is a great way to erase and start over. It’s also a difficult problem to deal with, and not an attractive option for most Netflix users. That’s why giving users the ability to choose which devices stay connected is a simple way to reduce 100 million moochers into something more affordable.

Since in many cases people really don’t know the password of the random Netflix account they’re using for free, simply allowing the user to boot unknown devices from their account perhaps is enough. If Netflix really wanted to make this system work in its favor, it could force a password reset and automatically reconnect any device the user chooses. That way, users have an easy way to clean up their list of connected devices, and Netflix has a surefire way to limit runaway account sharing.

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