Netflix “will test many things” as it explores ways to limit account sharing, but CEO Reed Hastings said that whatever the streaming giant releases “has got to feel like it makes sense to consumers.”
The topic was broached during Netflix’s Investor Relations interview today, in which executives were asked if the time was right to “turn the screws” on the password sharing that has become common across the platform.
“We will test many things, but we will never roll something out that feels like turning the screws… It has got to feel like it makes sense to consumers, that they understand,” Hastings said.
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Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters, for his part, described the recent introduction of an account verification system as a test, “We’re going to keep working on accessibility across the countries that we serve, but we also want to ensure that while we’re doing that, that we’re good at making sure that the people who are using a Netflix account, who are accessing the service, are the ones who are authorized to do so. And that’s what this line of testing is about. It’s not necessarily a new thing, we’ve been doing this for a while.”
Hastings’ comments were in response to the introduction of an account authentication feature back in March, in which users were asked to verify their account through text or email. It included the warning, “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.” The feature also included the option to verify later, allowing users to continue without confirming their ownership of the account if they wished.
Peters said that Netflix is still investigating the “right model” for its customers, and the company doesn’t really know the “right place to land” on the subject. He said that Netflix would continue to take an iterative approach based on feedback from subscribers. In the meantime, Netflix has plenty of challenges to deal with as it heads into a sea of competition after a record-breaking year.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN.