Netflix blocks shared accounts also in Italy: what happens now

Accounts fly but too many users watch Netflix Gratis: account verification via SMS or email arrives also in Italy.

Two weeks ago Netflix announced its financial results for the second quarter of 2021 and they were excellent: profits of $7.43 billion, against the expected $7.32 billion and a growth in users of 1.54 million, against the expected 1.19 million. But those numbers aren't enough for Netflix, which wants to make up for a revenue shortfall that's been dragging on for years.

We're talking about the one stemming from accounts shared in a way that doesn't comply with Netflix's terms of service. The platform, in fact, foresees the possibility of using the same account, and therefore the same subscription, with 5 different profiles as long as all these profiles belong to people who live in the same house. A family, then, or at most a group of cohabitants like a student house. If this is the rule, however, in fact already for a long time many people share the Netflix account with friends and relatives who live in a different place. A phenomenon long tolerated by Netflix, until last March when a first experiment was made to block the sharing of the account. Many users tell now that this experiment has arrived also in Italy.

Shared accounts: what is Netflix doing

Netflix doesn't take long to know if we have shared with someone the account: it is enough for it to trace the IP addresses of the connected users, all users of the same house pass through the same Wi-Fi router.

In March Netflix had launched a first experiment: a small number of users received a message with which the platform asked them to confirm that they live with the owner of the account. To do so, they had to enter a code that Netflix sent to the owner via email or SMS. If the account owner and the other person did not live under the same roof, then, verification was still possible, but quite inconvenient.

It was also possible to delay verification and continue watching Netflix, but the message would reappear over and over again. Now the same thing is happening, even in Italy, with a group of users who have already displayed the message in which Netflix asks them to enter the code.

Netflix: only one account per family

The direction taken by Netflix, therefore, is very clear: stop sharing accounts, yes to multi-user in the same family.

At the end of 2020, on the other hand, Netflix had to admit to its investors that almost 10% of its viewers were using the shared account trick. This is more than 10 million potential paying users who, instead, watch Netflix for free.

The platform is no longer going to tolerate it also because, in the last two years, competition has become fierce and Netflix can beat it only by spending billions of dollars in original productions.