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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Netflix’s new “household” rules are unreasonable

Illustration+by+Delaney+Compean
Illustration by Delaney Compean

In February, Netflix announced it was going to begin cracking down on password sharing across households, starting in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. Now, Texas State students have started to lose access to their shared Netflix accounts.

Netflix defines a “household” as people who live in the same location as the original owner of the account. According to a statement from Netflix, over 100 million households are sharing passwords which impacts Netflix’s “ability to invest in great new TV and films.

Account owners are now required to set up a primary location on their TV. Users can access the account on a phone or laptop while traveling, but streaming on a TV can only be done in the specified household.

While it is fair to say Netflix is addressing a real problem, this answer is not fair to college students who are not able to afford their own Netflix accounts. There must be a better solution that allows for more than one household on a single account.

Taylor Estes, a psychology freshman, is an out-of-state student. She was using her aunt’s Netflix account on her TV in her dorm before she was removed from the account.

“I got on my TV and it said that I was out of my household,” Estes said. “I could either change my address or I could send an email to the account that I [was logged into] to get a code to get back into it. I like to turn on Netflix to do my homework so not being able to get into that was kind of a disadvantage for me because I feel like I wasn’t getting anything done.”

Students who rely on family or friends for their accounts will now have to get their own or ask those who live in the original household to pay an extra $7.99 per month for each additional person. Many college students are already on a tight budget and though Netflix now offers a “standard with ads” plan starting at $6.99 per month, this pricing still isn’t feasible for some students.

It seems like these new rules are just a cash grab on Netflix’s part. The company just recently raised its U.S. prices again. Premium plans now cost $22.99 per month. Though the company may think these are wise decisions, they’re just going to cause more and more people to cancel their accounts altogether.

“No college kid wants to have to pay for Netflix, especially on top of everything else they have to worry about,” Estes said.

The time has come for Netflix officials to open their eyes and realize that these business moves aren’t helping anyone. As Netflix once said in a tweet, “Love is sharing a password,” and anyone should be able to do what they wish with their accounts.

“I just think it’s unfair because if someone is willing to share their password, their username, their account with you, there’s obviously a reason,” Estes said. “It’s not like it’s causing any harm. It’s just annoying that taking [accounts] away is something that they thought would be a good idea.”

-Rhian Davis is a journalism sophomore

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