The streaming service is testing a new feature designed to make password sharing more inconvenient for users.
The trial involves some Netflix users being asked to verify if they live in the same household as the main subscriber. During the sign-in process, Netflix sends the named account holder a code via text message or email. This is required to complete the process.
The two-step verification process is similar to that used by numerous online services to stop unauthorised users from accessing accounts.
At this stage, affected users are still being allowed to delay verification. But Netflix customers report seeing a warning message. It states: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”
Netflix terms and conditions state that account details should “not be shared with individuals beyond your household”. However, password sharing is widely practised and was once tolerated by Netflix.
The move follows a recent price rise for most Netflix users. The streaming giant is also under pressure to continue adding new subscriptions so it can stay ahead of new streaming upstarts. Disney+ has already reached nearly half as many subscribers as Netflix, despite having only first launched in November 2019 (March 2020 in the UK).