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Netflix cracks down on password sharing in March, but there could be a loophole

Subscribers in a pilot program in Latin America found a way around the extra fees.

If you’re sharing your Netflix password, get ready to pay more.

In a letter to its shareholders, the streaming company said it will start blocking subscribers from sharing passwords in March. Plus, Netflix plans to roll out a paid-sharing plan.

Netflix says it knows some people may cancel, but it’s expecting other households to activate accounts and counterbalance that revenue loss.

The streaming service had a similar pilot program in Latin America where users could add a sub-account for an additional $3 a month. 

Subscribers in the program found a way around the extra fees.

“They have found the loophole that mobile devices did not count as separate locations,” says Sarah Saril, the tech deals and streaming reporter at Insider. “So people were able to get around it by still sharing an account, but streaming on their phone or on their tablet. You can still use that to Airplay on to a TV. However, if users were trying to watch Netflix directly on their TV or on their desktop, they then would report to Netflix that they were in a different location. We won't know if this will work in the States until it rolls out here, but there might be a loophole for us.”

This all comes as Netflix fights for dominance in a post-pandemic world. After getting a big bump in subscribers at the start of the pandemic, it has struggled to maintain its streaming superiority as competitors crowd in. The company estimates 100 million households use the service without paying for it. Now, Netflix wants those password pirates to pay up. 

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