Pursuing Netflix Password Sharers: A Potential Mistake

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Souvik Banerjee (Creative Commons)

IS SHARING CARING?: Netflix has recently begun to crack down on password sharing, leading to frustration among long-term users.

Rachel Yokota, Staff Writer

Netflix sent a clear message to its account sharers in early March, warning them that the company is aware of their presence. A verification test was sent to a select number of Netflix accounts, asking users to input a code sent to the original phone number registered with the account. This two-factor authentication test would ensure that users on extra devices were actually paying for their account—but this is a risk that Netflix shouldn’t take. 

This test relies on inconvenience, forcing users to contact the original phone number for the code and is designed to annoy users into purchasing their own account. Netflix has not yet confirmed whether this is the beginning of a full-fledged crackdown or just a test. 

If Netflix does shut down account sharing for good, the consequences could be grave. Possible outcomes include users cancelling their subscription due to pent-up anger with Netflix’s overall service, or account sharers simply adapting and waiting for the code.

Many users are already upset with the service as it prioritizes developing new series to attract new subscribers while cancelling popular original series such as “GLOW,” even if they have developed a dedicated fan base. Adding yet another profit-motivated frustration could push users to unsubscribe in favor of one of Netflix’s numerous competitors.

“It’s obvious that Netflix is just doing this to help maximize their own profit and they aren’t taking their customers’ interests seriously,” freshman Anneliese Lu said. 

On the other hand, the majority of account sharers may not be fazed by having to input a new code at all. If no new accounts are created, Netflix’s revenue will be unaffected, so why bother? 

Either way, Netflix’s reputation as a top streaming company will be harmed as a result of a crackdown. With competing streaming services on the rise, Netflix cannot afford to make any more mistakes concerning their customers. Just last year, Disney+ bested Netflix in customer satisfaction within the first year of launching. If Netflix intends to stay at the top, they need to focus on maintaining their customers’ approval.