Millions of Netflix (NFLX) users could be forced to pay for the streaming service under a new test designed to stop password sharing.
The mega-streaming platform has begun rolling out a feature asking users to to verify they are the authorised user on the account.
Now, Netflix is fighting back. Under a new update, some customers are receiving messages on their screens prompting them to set up their own, paid account if they aren’t living or watching with the actually paying subscriber.
To proceed through to the account, Netflix then sends an email or text code to the authorised user. Viewers can also delay the verification to keep watching.
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” a spokesperson said.
Netflix’s terms of service also says accounts “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household”.
It comes as Netflix, the world’s biggest streaming service, has seen its viewership roar higher following the pandemic.
It reached 200 million users worldwide in February with its stock now up nearly 50 per cent on this time last year. The company also reported nearly US$25 billion (AU$32 billion) in revenue and $2.8 billion (AU$3.6 billion) in profit last year.
Netflix offers a one-month free trial. After that, its basic plan costs $10.99 a month for one streamer.
Users can pay $15.99 for two simultaneous streams or $19.99 for four simultaneous streams. Previously, the streamer limit was the main way Netflix monitored user numbers.