November 16, 2022 at 2:29 p.m.
- Netflix is a popular video streaming service offering movies, TV shows, and original programming for a monthly subscription fee.
- The company introduced a new account management feature enabling users to disconnect devices connected to a Netflix account remotely.
- Netflix will soon enforce geographical limits on account sharing.
- The new account management feature allows Netflix subscribers to avoid paying excess charges by disconnecting users who don’t live in their households.
- Netflix is expected to introduce a feature allowing members to share their subscriptions with friends and family who don’t live with the primary subscriber.
The Perils of Sharing Your Netflix Account
Humans are social creatures, and sharing is usually in our nature. If sharing a good or service is free, we’re even more inclined to do so.
Netflix and other streaming services are often shared with friends and family because there’s no cost to the paying subscriber. At least for now.
After two brutal quarters in which Netflix saw its subscriber base decrease, the Los Gatos-based company realized it was time for a change. The company recently added an account management feature to monitor and disconnect devices remotely. In-app messaging rationalizes it as a security feature to ensure unfamiliar devices aren’t signed in. However, it appears to be a way for subscribers to avoid paying extra fees when Netflix starts policing subscription sharing.
Netflix is testing new ways to charge subscribers for sharing their accounts. For now, it’s perfectly legal. You’re not doing anything wrong. Based on tests in Latin America, it appears that Netflix will soon charge subscribers for sharing their accounts with people who don’t live in their households.
If you want to avoid paying extra, disconnect devices using your account outside of your household. You don’t have to do this just yet, but we’ll show you how it’s done on your iPhone and computer.
How to Remotely Disconnect Devices from Netflix on Your iPhone
Disconnecting Netflix devices directly from your iPhone is the easiest way to control access to your account. For now, you can let your friends and family use your account; however, soon, Netflix will charge extra to add another “home.”
Here are step-by-step instructions for removing devices from your Netflix account:
- Launch the Netflix app. The “Who’s Watching” screen appears.
- Choose the profile you usually use for Netflix. The Netflix home screen appears.
- Tap on your profile icon in the top right of the screen. The Netflix user management screen appears.
- Tap on Account. The Account screen appears.
- Scroll down and tap on “Manage access and devices.” The “Manage Access and Devices” screen appears.
- Review devices and their locations. Tap “Sign Out” for any device you’d like to disconnect. You’ll see a message in green reporting that the device you disconnected is now signed out.
That’s it! It’s easy to sign people out of Netflix.
How to Remotely Disconnect Devices from Netflix on Your Computer
If you don’t own an iPhone and watch Netflix on a smart TV or other device, you may be able to disconnect remote users directly within the Netflix app. There are so many devices and versions of Netflix that it’s challenging to account for them in this article. If all else fails, open a web browser on your computer, and you’ll be able to manage Netflix like a pro!
Here are the steps to disconnect remote Netflix users with a web browser:
- Open your web browser and navigate to https://www.netflix.com. If you need to be authenticated, you’ll be prompted to login. The “Who’s Watching” screen appears after you enter your email/phone number and password, if necessary.
- Click on your profile. The Netflix home screen appears.
- Hover over your profile icon on the top right. A menu appears.
- Click on “account” in the menu. The Account screen appears.
- Click on “Manage Access and Devices”. The “Manage Access and Devices” screen appears.
- Click “Sign Out” on any devices you’d like to disconnect.
As you can see, managing remote devices is just as easy on a computer as it is on an iPhone. Now let’s evaluate whether Netflix is making a sound move with its plan to police account sharing.
Netflix Strategy to Curb Account Sharing May Backfire
Desperate companies sometimes do stupid things that further damage profitability. I’ve seen this countless times in corporate life. Something terrible happens; companies overreact and end up in a death spiral.
Netflix is in decline, but there are better pursuits than punishing users. It’s not because Netflix is a poor service. It’s still one of the best streaming services. Netflix still has the most market share. It’s more that there are now so many competitors that people have other options.
Competition is something Netflix must accept. They’re no longer the sole streaming media content provider, so they must share subscribers with other platforms.
Instead of punishing users, acquiring a company like Hulu would restore Netflix’s glory. The company could offer a bundle or absorb Hulu into the Netflix experience. Since Hulu is complementary to Netflix, it would add value, such as the addition of live television and more recent on-demand TV shows.
One of the most disappointing aspects of Netflix is that they obtain TV shows months after they’ve aired. If you want to watch the newest season of a popular show, you have to go elsewhere, and people do.
There are ample strategies Netflix can pursue other than cracking down on users. Even if they act gingerly, it will still ruffle some feathers. Instead of upsetting customers, Netflix should grow its subscriber base through acquisitions or improved content.
The main reason why people share Netflix accounts is that they barely use them. I’m an adult, but I use my mom’s Netflix account. Why? I hardly ever use it, so I wouldn’t subscribe myself. Once in a while, I hear about a great new Netflix show. I watch a few episodes, get bored, and move on.
I’m not convinced that people who use others’ Netflix accounts are thieves. They’re people who don’t care about Netflix enough to subscribe. If I can’t use my mom’s account, it won’t convince me to subscribe. I won’t have her pay $2.99 extra to add my home to her Netflix account.
I already have Amazon Prime for its free shipping, but it gives me an excellent streaming service. They even have live Thursday night football. I get a few months of Apple TV+ for free every year when I buy a new iPhone. I don’t have time for Netflix. I have yet to watch it on my mom’s account. If they stop her from sharing, it won’t get me to subscribe. It will just convince me that Netflix is desperate.