Device limits, password-sharing fees: How Netflix and other streaming giants are cracking down
Netflix will be triggering negotiations in households up and down the country this week as the streaming giant officially cracks down on password sharing in the UK.
The streaming giant announced the long-anticipated news on Tuesday, leaving fans forced to decide whether it's time to log out of their ex-boyfriend's dad's neighbour's account, and start paying for their own.
The platform has explicitly told users they will have to pay more for additional people to be able to watch Netflix on their account.And Netflix is not the first of the major platforms to tighten its rules to discourage multiple people from using a single account or sharing their passwords across too many devices.
Rumours have began to spread of other streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video or Disney+, following Netflix's suit.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video currently allows up to two adults, four teenagers, and four children (12 and younger) on one account under an Amazon Household set-up.
This means adult users are restricted to only one other person on the same account, and new household members must live in the same country or region as the Prime account holder and use the same marketplace.
But straightforward password sharing is achievable for now - though not, of course, explicitly encouraged - as long as the Prime account holder does not mind giving others access to their entire Amazon account, including order history and payment information.
Apple's terms of service do not currently reveal any specific restrictions on password sharing, so the process is fairly simple for the time being.
Apple sends passwords securely to other users or Apple devices with AirDrop and on Apple TV.
The platform also allows Family Sharing, which lets you share viewing privileges with up to six family members.
Sky's NOW TV is on the stricter side when it comes to device or password sharing.
The platform has a device limit warning system in place.
This means users sharing passwords will find themselves unable to watch shows while someone else is using the account.
NOW TV can only watch on one device at a time, unless you have Now Boost, which requires users to pay more to be allow viewing on up to three devices at a time.
Sky Go currently lets customers register up to six devices on an account, but imposes limits on multiple devices streaming at once.
Viewers can stream on two devices at any one time, or four if they are subscribed to Sky Go Extra.
Paramount+ does allow users to share their passwords and has an option to create six profiles on one account.
But customers are limited to three simultaneous streams, or watching on three separate devices at once.
Disney, which also owns Hulu, stoked speculation when it conducted a user survey in Spain asking if its customers share their passwords with viewers who live outside their immediate home address.
The survey, some said, seemed to suggest Disney would follow in Netflix's footsteps and begin to restrict password sharing.
But for now, there are no explicit bans against it, and the service's terms are among of the most relaxed out of all the streaming giants.
At the moment, up to four devices can be streamed at once and seven profiles are allowed on one account.
Though if the streaming giant believes a customer has shared their password with everyone they know, their account can be blocked.
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