Netflix will reportedly start making you pay to share a password in 2023

Stranger Things season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix will soon crack down on password sharing in the US, according to a new report. The change comes after a difficult year for the streamer and the introduction of an ad-supported plan (which so far isn't doing so well). 

According to the Wall Street Journal, beginning in 2023, Netflix will no longer let you share an account for free in the US. Instead, the streamer has indicated you'll have to pay if your streaming arrangements involve using a password from family or friends. Netflix claims over 100 million streamers are accessing the service with borrowed passwords. 

No strategy has been confirmed just yet, but, per the report, Netflix is considering similar ideas for the US to a test rolled out in some Latin American countries: Netflix allows users to share their account with a maximum of two people who don't live in their household, and it sends a verification code prompt to the borrower. The code is delivered to the account owner and has a 15 minute time limit. WSJ's sources indicate that, while the borrower can then watch Netflix after inputting the code, prompts might be displayed until the main account holder pays extra to include someone sharing the account. 

There is a sticking point, though, as it's not easy for the streamer to figure out if people are sharing passwords or if the account holder is going on vacation or even has a second home. Netflix has considered letting subscribers notify Netflix when they're going to be somewhere else, per the report. The streamer has said that it will use device IDs, IP addresses, and account activity to ensure account sharing is only happening within one household.

So, while the streamer hasn't yet settled on a solid strategy to put an end to password sharing, it sounds as if it will soon become much harder to borrow an account to watch the best Netflix shows and best Netflix movies – and it could end up becoming a thing of the past entirely. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.