June 15th, 2024

New Netflix password sharing rules likely to be repeated by other streamers: experts

By The Canadian Press on February 22, 2023.

This Aug. 13, 2020 photo shows a logo for Netflix on a remote control in Portland, Ore. Canadians who spent the month sorting out how to untangle Netflix accounts shared by loved ones after new policies came into effect this week should get used to the debacle. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jenny Kane

TORONTO – Canadians who spent the month sorting out how to untangle Netflix accounts shared by loved ones after new policies came into effect this week should get used to the debacle.

Experts say the streaming giant’s rivals are bound to follow Netflix in limiting the unfettered password sharing that has allowed friends, family members and even more extraneous connections like exes and old acquaintances to use the same accounts.

Richard Lachman, an associate professor at Toronto Metropolitan University’s RTA School of Media, is predicting Netflix’s password crackdown will become so common among streamers that it will eventually be seen as an industry standard.

He says tech companies are known for engaging in “copycat behaviour,” where they adopt models that their biggest competitors rolled out first.

He adds the incentive to end password sharing is also high because subscriber numbers and growth projections have come under pressure as the number of streamers has multiplied in recent years.

His remarks come after Netflix notified Canadian consumers earlier this month that they would have until Feb. 21 to designate a “primary location” to their account, which will eventually be used to recognize and block anyone who accesses the account outside the home base.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2023.

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