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Netflix Is Going To Start Cracking Down On People Who Use Their Service For Free

Submitted by on April 24, 2013 – 10:18 am24 Comments

I’ve always wondered why so many people pay for Netflix. For the record, I pay for it every month. And nobody out there uses my password to use Netflix. But, in theory, if I didn’t feel like paying for Netflix anymore, I could cancel my service, find a friend willing to tell me their Netflix password, and—boom!—I’d be connected. I would have access to everything I have access to right now, minus the $8 fee that I shell out every month for Netflix’s streaming services. I choose to pay for the service, because I use it regularly and get my money’s worth. But, I’m surprised that more people don’t just “share” Netflix accounts. For the most part, everyone I know pays for their own service.

I may be in the minority on that, though. Because, according to a new report done by Bloomberg, Netflix wants to crack down on those people out there who are using Netflix services for free. Specifically, they believe that up to 10 million people currently use Netflix without paying for it by borrowing passwords from their friends and families without contributing any money to Netflix. So they’re thinking about trying something new to stop people from doing it. They haven’t specified exactly what it is that they want to do. But Netflix may try to limit the number of devices that Netflix users can use per account or limit the location that a Netflix account can be used. That would prevent, say, a college student from using his or her parents’ account. Netflix may also choose to limit the number of devices that can use Netflix simultaneously (Netflix users can currently play TV shows and movies on two devices at a time) or even charge users for specific types of programming (this would likely prevent kids and adults from using the same Netflix account). It’s still up in the air as to what Netflix will do. But they want to do something to curb freeloaders.

Do you think this is a smart move for Netflix to make? On the one hand, they risk upsetting current customers if they make too many changes to their service. Their intention may be to get more people paying for their service. But they may actually force people to cancel their service if they’re not careful. On the other hand, they do need to find a way to make everyone pay to use their service. Otherwise, what’s the point in anyone paying for it? Right now, it’s affordable to do so. But, I’m sure that, at some point, the cost of Netflix is going to rise as more and more movies, TV shows, and original programming are added. And, when it does, people are going to start thinking long and hard about canceling their accounts and “sharing” them with others if that’s an option. So Netflix needs to find a solution to that.

What is that solution? They don’t know yet. But it’ll be interesting to see what they’re able to come up with based on what we’re hearing now. Regardless of what they decide, you can expect changes to be made. So be prepared.

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