It’s not me, it’s Netflix.
People are bracing themselves for awkward conversations with friends and family as Netflix prepares to crack down on password sharing in the US
The popular streaming service will soon start charging customers extra each month to share their Netflix accounts with someone outside their household.
So how do you break it to your Netflix-ready friends?
“Blame Netflix, loud and clear. Blame them again and blame them a third time,” said Jeffrey Hall, a University of Kansas associate professor of communication studies and friendship expert.
“It’s not like I kicked you out of my account because I have someone else or because I don’t want you anymore. Netflix made it. And we know that in relationships, who gets the blame makes a big difference.
Sharing a Netflix password is a sign of friendship
Sharing resources with friends and family is common in cultures around the world, Hall said. “If I have no extra expenses, sharing with you is a sign of friendship,” he said.
According to a Parks Associates’ 2022 survey, 40% of consumers in US internet households share credentials or use shared credentials, up from 27% in 2019.
Family friends shared their Disney account with Hall so her two children could watch children’s programming. If Disney followed Netflix’s lead, Hall said he would thank his friends for their generosity and leave them alone.
“You as my friend will not oblige me to take the extra cost because that is really contrary to friendship,” said Hall. “You can’t be like, ‘Hey Jeff, pay for my access so I can keep getting this forever.’ That’s not what friends do to each other.”
Has Netflix canceled password sharing?
As subscriber growth slows, Netflix looks to squeeze a few more bucks from freeloaders. The streaming service is under increasing pressure as competitors multiply and people return to their pre-pandemic viewing habits such as commuting and traveling.
About 100 million people watch Netflix using someone else’s account, according to a company estimate.
That’s why Netflix started restricting streaming access to people who live in the same household. Subscribers who want to share their accounts with people outside their household must pay for that access or lose it.
Netflix introduced the new restrictions in countries such as New Zealand, Portugal and Spain and said changes will be coming soon elsewhere.
Netflix subscribers around the world are upset about the new account sharing rule
Netflix executives say they know the new policy is unpopular and some people may cancel their accounts. It hopes to lure them back with quality content.
But times are not easy for many. In Canada, Netflix subscribers are being asked to fork out an extra $8 a month – $96 a year – at a time when high inflation and interest rates are already eating into household budgets.
Canadians have taken to social media to complain about the impact of the new restrictions on college-bound kids, retired parents and unemployed friends.
How to talk to friends about cutting off their access to Netflix
Talking about money can be touchy. But the foundation of friendship is kindness and forgiveness, Hall said.
“If you approach these conversations that way, they can be good,” Hall said.
Janice McCabe, associate professor of sociology at Dartmouth College and author of “Connecting in College: How Friendship Networks Matter for Academic and Social Success,” says to prioritize reaching out to friends and family by affirming your connection and letting them know how much you value the relationship. .
“Then you get into the technical details: because of these new rule changes, you will no longer be able to continue using the account,” McCabe said.
You can also use the Netflix policy as an opportunity to suggest spending more time together along the lines of: “Since we can’t continue to share what we used to be, let’s find time to watch our favorite show together.”
“It creates more of an in-person connection, as you’re watching the movie, discussing the show, and planning these watch parties/get-togethers,” McCabe said. “It can also be a way to reunite a friendship or friendship group that hasn’t recovered from the destruction of COVID or create a new tie if you want more connection.”