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Netflix to begin password sharing crackdown in Canada. What you need to know


Netflix users who have been sharing their passwords with friends and family members who live hundreds – or even thousands – of kilometres away won’t be able to do so for much longer, as the streaming service announced its plans to end password sharing.

“Netflix wants to crack down on password sharing, so they can generate revenue from all these people who have been getting a free ride," technology analyst, Carmi Levy of London, Ont., told CTV News Toronto.

Netflix has 230 million paying subscribers worldwide, but it’s estimated there could be as many as 100 million people watching with shared passwords.

"Later in Q1, we expect to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly. Sharing has not been implemented in Canada at this time," a Netflix spokesperson told CTV News Toronto.

Netflix announced the crackdown last year, after it lost subscribers for the first time in a decade.

“People who do not live in your household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix,” Netflix’s website reads.

Some CTV News Toronto viewers, who shared passwords with family and friends, thought they had already been blocked from the service after recently receiving a notice that said Netflix would no longer be accessible on their TV receiver.

"This has absolutely nothing to do with (password) sharing," Netflix told CTV News Toronto. "From time to time, we end support for the Netflix app on some cable set top boxes in order to offer a consistent, quality experience for our members."

Meanwhile, Levy said the streaming giant has to do something to try and generate revenue due to the rising costs of movies and television productions, as well as competition increasing from other streaming services.

“The company is facing more competition than it has in past years, and they are spending tens of billions of dollars to try and bring new movies and TV shows to Netflix, and the company just can't afford to maintain the status quo," Levy said.

A new survey by Jefferies found 62 per cent of those who share passwords said they will stop using Netflix due to the new policy. Meanwhile, 25 per cent said they cannot afford it, and 35 per cent said they will use another streaming service.

Levy said other streaming services like Amazon, Disney+, Apple TV, and Crave may also have to look at what Netflix is doing when it comes to cracking down on password sharing.

“If you've been sharing, this is the first thing they are going to do to try and break the habit, but there will be more things in the months ahead,” said Levy.


Crave and CTV News are both divisions of Bell Media.


A previous version of the article said Netflix password sharing has begun in Canada. It has been updated to reflect that password sharing will begin rolling out more broadly in the first quarter of 2023. Top Stories

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