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Netflix is cracking down on password sharing, and the watch party may be over

The days of Netflix idly standing by and tolerating password sharing looks to be over, with the streaming giant telling some users it’s time they began paying for their own account.

Some viewers are noticing a new alert, warning they’ll need their own account if they don’t live with the person who pays the monthly fee to access the best Netflix TV shows and movies.

“If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching,” the notice first reported by Streamable reads. The alert offers the option to start a new account with a 30-day trial, or receive a text or email code to verify their ownership of the account. There’s an option to “verify later” too, but that only appears like it’ll delay the inevitable.

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Until now, Netflix has taken a somewhat lax attitude towards password sharing. The company knows it happens and hasn’t done much to clamp down on it in the meantime. The company’s terms and conditions have always prohibited password sharing, but now it seems ready to enforce them.

Given the number of services now competing with Netflix for the streaming dollar, the instances of password sharing may be on the rise. We can certainly imagine scenarios where one household pays for Netflix, another to Disney Plus, another to Amazon Prime, with the passwords going into a communal pot.

Netflix isn’t ready to abide, especially with Disney Plus rapidly cutting into the company’s global streaming lead at an insane rate. Disney announced this week, it has already amassed 100 million paying subscribers, while at last count Netflix has 203.67 million subscribers, but has been at it for more than a decade longer.

A Netflix spokesperson has acknowledged the test in a brief statement to Trusted Reviews that reads: “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so.”

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