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If You're Sharing a Netflix Account, the Service Has a New Warning for You

Netflix users who share their accounts may be in for a rude awakening.

Netflix has a new message for its customers—and no, this time, the streaming service isn't just curious about whether or not you're actually planning on watching yet another hour of TV. The Streamable reports that Netflix is now sending messages to users who are borrowing others' account information instead of signing up themselves, warning them against doing so. However, the message may be more than just a plan to boost revenue on part of the streaming giant. Read on to find out what this may mean for your next Netflix binge, and if you're looking for another show to marathon, check out these 16 Netflix Shows You Can Watch From Start to Finish This Weekend.

The service is asking individuals with shared accounts to get their own.

netflix login screen

Some individuals are now seeing an alarming message pop up when they're trying to watch a movie or show on Netflix: "If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching."

But you shouldn't panic about having to shell out for your own Netflix account just yet. In a statement, the company says, "This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so," meaning it's intended to protect your privacy, not just keep your friend from bingeing Gilmore Girls on your account.

However, the test—among "hundreds" the company rolls out annually, according to a spokesperson—may require users to verify the account with information sent to the primary user via either text or email. And for the latest entertainment news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Netflix has said it's not anti-sharing in the past.

netflix ceo reed hastings

Just a few years ago, Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said that the company had no intention of cracking down on subscription sharing.

"In terms of [password sharing], no plans on making any changes there," Hastings explained in a 2016 earnings call. "Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with, because there's so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids," he explained.

But certain no-sharing conditions are built into Netflix contracts.

terms and conditions on a computer screen

If you're not exactly poring over the fine print when you sign up for a new service, you're not alone. However, a no-sharing clause is actually built into the terms and conditions you agree to when you sign up for a Netflix account.

According to the service's Terms of Use, Netflix accounts "may not be shared with individuals beyond your household," meaning the company isn't exactly on board with how approximately one-third of its users use the service, even if it hasn't done much to crack down on the practice. And to protect your accounts, If You Own Any Apple Devices, You Need to Do This Immediately.

This isn't the first major change Netflix has made amid the pandemic.

Hands holding credit card and phone
Shutterstock/Jirapong Manustrong

In October 2020, Netflix raised U.S. users' subscription cost for the first time since 2019. The service's standard plan rose $1, to $14 per month, while the service's premium plan jumped $2, to $18 per month.

And it may not be the only price hike customers see. In a fall 2020 earnings call, Netflix COO Greg Peters admitted that the company would "occasionally go back and ask [customers] to pay a little bit more to keep that virtuous cycle of investment and value creation going" in order to fund new programming. And if you're looking for a new show to watch, check out The Best True Crime Shows on Netflix You Can Finish in a Weekend.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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