Netflix has been waging a war against password-sharing and blocking the same accounts used across different households. The crusade has now reached India, with Netflix's local arm officially announcing it will begin closing up means to use the same credentials across different locations.

According to 91Mobiles, Netflix will use attributes such as device ID, IP addresses, and account activity to confirm whether users sharing the same account are part of the same household. If found they are not, users will be notified to create new accounts and transfer their existing profiles to those new destinations — to avoid losing their preferences, settings, and watch history.

Netflix begins cracking down on password sharing outside households in India.
Netflix India

This will not affect if you use your devices to watch Netflix while commuting or traveling. But to ensure Netflix does not wrongly flag your account, you must add it to your Household under the app's Settings.

In a separate announcement, Netflix said it added 5.9 million additional users over the past quarter and attributes this success to its crackdown on password sharing. With this, the total number of Netflix subscribers stands at roughly 240 million, of which only about 2.5% come from India. Those numbers dwarf in front of other relatively cheaper/free-to-use services like Prime Video, Hotstar, Sony LIV, etc.

But instead of pitting itself as another freemium alternative to domestically-bred OTT platforms (and disgraces like MX Play and Alt Balaji), Netflix is eying a fair size of the revenue by forcing users to pay. This could backfire in India with freeloaders stopping to use Netflix entirely and relying on methods like piracy, which is still very much thriving in India through Telegram groups and similar inadequately monitored platforms.  

So far, Netflix hasn't backtracked on its plan to force users to buy new subscriptions instead of sharing accounts in other parts of the world. But we wait to see if India's unique dynamics with the internet and her citizens' tendential resistance to pay for services forces Netflix to bow down.

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