If you’ve been watching “Bridgerton” on your old roommate’s Netflix account, your free ride may be coming to an end, with Netflix now running a test that may lead to a crackdown on password sharing.
As Streamable first reported on Thursday, some Netflix viewers this week have been greeted with the following message: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.” Immediately below, a “join free for 30 days” button is included. And for those who do live with the account holder, they’re asked to confirm it’s their account by having Netflix email or text them a verification code.
A Netflix spokesperson told TheWrap this is a test and the streamer hasn’t yet determined whether this will ultimately lead to a crackdown on password sharing. The rep declined to share how many accounts are part of the test or if it’s focused on particular markets, but did say it was “limited.”
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“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” the rep said in a statement.
Netflix recently reported it entered 2021 with 203 million global customers, putting it well ahead of other big-name streamers like Disney+, which just surpassed 100 million subscribers.
Still, Netflix is facing more competition than ever before, with new services like Paramount+ and NBCU’s Peacock debuting within the last year. About 33% of Netflix users share their password with at least one other person, according to data cited by CNBC.