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Thread: Netflix supposedly about to clamp down upon multiaccounting

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Netflix supposedly about to clamp down upon multiaccounting

    Netflix, which has been losing a fortune recently, claims that they're going to finally shut down multiaccounters.

    This has been discussed for years, but apparently they're on the verge of doing it.

    I have long wondered how they could accomplish this. Here are the technical barriers to them recognizing multiaccounting:

    - People's home IPs will change over time, sometimes frequently and beyond their control

    - Many people have two or more homes, or travel a lot

    - Mobile devices will constantly have different IPs when on cellular data, or when connecting to Wifi away from home

    - There is no way for Netflix to see MAC addresses of devices when people are watching through a web browser, which is how people watch when on laptop/desktop computers



    Well, apparently here's the scheme they came up with, which is pretty smart:

    Netflix will observe the "primary IP" that is being used to watch it. That is, it will see which IP is used the most, and assign that as the primary IP address.

    In order for a device to be "authorized", it needs to watch at least one video per 31 days from that IP address. If it does not, the device will lose authorization. If the primary IP address changes (such as someone's home IP being changed by their internet provider), the customer can establish a new primary IP, but will need to do so by receiving a code sent to their phone number on file. There will presumably be a limit on how often one can change the primary IP.

    I am assuming that "device authorization" will be done via cookies on laptops/desktops, as there's no way for Netflix to see which device is being used via browser. But a cookie could work just as well for this, although it would only work on that particular browser.



    However, this method is not without collateral damage to customers. For example, if you primarily watch on your laptop, but you take your iPad on a trip with you, you're fucked if you want to watch Netflix if you haven't watched it on that iPad in over a month.

    Additionally, if you are mostly watching Netflix via cellular data, or if you have dynamic home IP addresses which always change, again you are fucked.

    Also, let's say you are on a long trip which lasts more than a month. Once again, you're going to have issues.



    It remains to be seen if this causes a customer exodus, or if it spurs new subscriptions. Some theorize that the ability to multiaccount is what justifies a lot of people paying for Netflix. Others theorize that clamping down on multiaccounting will cause freeloaders to pay for their own accounts.

    Also, it probably won't take long for people to come up with easy ways to circumvent the Netflix multiaccounting ban, such as creating a home VPN for purposes of logging in once per month and establishing that you "watched a video" on each device.


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    Diamond dwai's Avatar
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    source

    just like the PayPal error


     
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      Dan Druff: LOL!

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Okay, so it looks like they've walked this back, and have bitched out because they're terrified of the fallout.

    I can tell you that Netflix's problems are mainly spending-related. They waste an obscene amount of money. Harry Hollywood has a buddy "in the know" about the situation there, and told me that most people would be shocked how much $$$ Netflix wastes. It's kinda like pre-Elon Twitter, but perhaps even worse.

     
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      dwai:

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    Plutonium Sanlmar's Avatar
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    Last thing I saw was Queens Gambit. Easily watched it 5 times.

    I cancelled Netflix about a year ago.

    I don’t know how much it was but we never even looked to see what was offered after a certain point. You were always disappointed with the offerings.

    Gosh, I’m truly sorry I wasn’t able to watch Meghan & Harry. I’m not aware of anything I might wish I could have seen lately.

    Netflix will forever be linked to the Pandemic. Bought it Jan 2020 and killed it 2022. RIP

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    Gold JeffDime's Avatar
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    I cancelled about a year ago to San. This is a very popular YouTuber. His video did 2.2 Million views in a day. They really had to back track on this. Netflix has so many big money deals with celebrities and then has a huge catalogue of shitty movies & shitty TV shows. What pissed me off was they started cancelling shows after 3 seasons because they felt old shows wouldn’t bring new viewers. Part of the reason they ended up losing old subscribers.


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    Plutonium Sanlmar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDime View Post
    I cancelled about a year ago to San. This is a very popular YouTuber. His video did 2.2 Million views in a day. They really had to back track on this. Netflix has so many big money deals with celebrities and then has a huge catalogue of shitty movies & shitty TV shows. What pissed me off was they started cancelling shows after 3 seasons because they felt old shows wouldnít bring new viewers. Part of the reason they ended up losing old subscribers.

    I loved this video. Sardonic I think is a great word to describe this YouTuber.

    I learned about the issue completely. The rules. The costs. He absolutely nails the issue of convenience vs torrent. I can watch any NHL game in high def for free but I pay $99 bucks to just push a button on my tv.

    2.2 million in a day. You know, he crushed the subject and heís a miserable fuck too. Throw me another one of his videos sometime. SeeÖ. Iím working that ďconvenience angleĒ.

     
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      Tellafriend: Sardonic -- such a beautiful word
      
      JeffDime: He’s very good. Not the typical “YouTuber”.

  7. #7
    Hello everyone. Druff asked me to come out here and post what I heard about Netflix and their crackdown on account sharing.

    First I would like to discuss Netflix's losses and the culture which caused it to occur. Many conservatives like to say, "Go woke, go broke", but that is not really what occurred to cause Netflix's struggles.

    It is important to understand that Netflix is not looking as bearish as you might think. Their stock price hit a high in November 2021, and then lost over 75% in the next 6 months. It seemed like there was no end in sight for its shareholders. However, since May, they have seen a nice rebound. It has about doubled since its low point. It's still about half of the November 2021 high, but things are looking much better, and the momentum is going the right direction.

    But what caused that turnaround? Most of this is due to major stock analysts liking Netflix's plans going forward. Analysts liked Netflix's new cheaper tier which allows customers to save money in exchange for watching ads, and they liked Netflix's other plans to monetize existing users. Success is no longer defined by subscriber numbers. It's now more about what total revenue will come from the subscribers they have. Unfortunately, the soon-to-be end of account sharing is seen as a major element to increased monetization.

    I see that some of you, including Druff, seem to believe that Netflix has scrapped its plans to end account sharing. You are incorrect to believe that. Netflix will indeed roll out their anti-account-sharing measures in 2023, perhaps as soon as March. They have already been testing these measures in the Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru markets. They claim that the FAQ shared by Netflix for US customers was released erroneously, but that may not be true. I have heard rumors that this was an intentional "mistake", meant to gauge public opinion prior to rolling out the actual changes next month.

    Netflix got itself into hot water for two major reasons. First, they have too many employees making too much money. Don't get me wrong, Netflix is a spectacular place to work. However, there are too many extraneous employees basically paid to lounge around and do relatively little work, and almost everyone is overpaid. You might think that these employees appreciate their cushy, overcompensated positions, but you'd be wrong. It is a company full of malcontents who are largely caricatures of entitled Silicon Valley millennials. If you saw a sitcom depicting these employees, you would criticize it for being unrealistic. That's how bad it really is there. I do not envy management, as they have to put up with an endless barrage of whining and virtue signaling. Furthermore, as is often the case in Silicon Valley, beneath all the woke rhetoric, there is a very real culture of sexual harassment, racism, and misogyny thinly buried beneath the surface. The person I spoke to is a card carrying liberal, and even he is disgusted by what he sees.

    That is problem #1, too much corporate fat. Problem #2 came from Netflix's obsession with developing a huge library of original programming. This is quite expensive to produce, as you can imagine. This is especially true because they are carrying high-budget productions with known actors. It would be more understandable if they just decided to carry a lot of cheap, independent films and TV series. The problem is that nobody is asking for this. Netflix had a fantasy of carrying such a breadth of new programming that they would wipe out network TV, or at the very least make it mostly irrelevant. That did not happen. This is because Netflix viewing habits are different than TV viewing habits. With network TV, you seek out certain shows which really interest you, but then also stumble upon others which immediately precede or follow the shows you're seeking. This is why lead-ins are so important in network TV. Netflix does not attract audience the same way. People tend to watch programs on Netflix due to either promotion or word-of-mouth. While Netflix makes an effort to present random shows to watch with one click, users typically do not click on random programs. In fact, Netflix viewers see new programs as somewhat of a commitment, given how most of their programming tells a start-to-finish story, rather than independent episodes.

    The bottom line is that Netflix spread itself way too thin. Investments in popular shows such as Stranger Things, and more recently Cobra Kai pay off, because these are hugely popular programs which keep people wanting to subscribe. Random shows people may or may not watch are not affecting subscriber numbers or monetization. Even if they get decent viewership, these shows will rarely make or break someone's decision to subscribe to Netflix. As long as Netflix has enough original programming to keep people interested in not cancelling, that's good enough. Remember, due to most people not being on ad-supported tiers, Netflix does not benefit from you watching more.

    Netflix has decided to make itself cleaner, leaner, and more focused upon what will generate revenue. Before they were throwing darts blindly and hoping to hit bullseye. After the market gave them a reality check, they have decided to take a serious look at where and how their bread gets buttered.

    I have not really discussed password sharing very much yet. I will do so in my next post.
    Last edited by Harry Hollywood; 02-04-2023 at 12:17 AM.

  8. #8
    Druff and I had a talk on the phone about what he calls multi-accounting. I am not from the world of poker, so he had to explain to me what he meant by that. Apparently in poker, multi-accounting is a very bad and frowned upon activity.

    However, in the premium streaming world, multi-accounting has always been a quietly accepted perk. Perhaps a 55-year-old couple does not want to pay for three streaming services monthly. That would seem excessive, unless they really get a lot of use out of all three. But what if they can share their passwords with their children, siblings, or close friends? All of a sudden, that investment looks a lot more reasonable, and therefore people are freer with signing up for those endless monthly auto-charges to their credit cards. As far as the streaming services saw it, they'd rather you sign up and share instead of not signing up at all.

    There has been much internal hand-wringing and debate at Netflix regarding the multi-accounting. Some executives felt it was better not to rock the boat, and that putting a stop to it might actually result in a net loss of subscribers. Other executives felt that the time was definitely right to end the account sharing, as freeloaders now addicted to the service would likely pay for it. They likened it to ending a free trial, where a certain percentage always goes forward to sign up. And even other executives felt that the correct move would be to end account sharing for all tiers except the ad-based one, but to let it continue on the ad-based tier, since the freeloaders were still driving ad revenue.

    As Druff pointed out in his interesting technical discussion, one of the biggest hurdles to ending the multi-accounting is the tech itself. Any solution is imperfect, burdensome, and potentially insulting. Take the example Druff posted, where a businessman brings his little-used iPad on a trip, settles in his hotel room at night to watch Netflix on the hotel Wifi, and gets the notice that the device was never authorized at home. You can picture him logging into Netflix in a rage, and hitting that dreaded CANCEL button. This is exactly what Netflix feared. Therefore, they are testing the system in three countries where they don't particularly care about temporarily angry consumers. They want to see, in practice, whether they can really shut out the freeloaders while having minimal impact upon the actual subscribers. From what I am hearing, it is going better than expected. They are finding that subscribers are fairly accepting of the new policy, and that the tech being utilized has been quite effective at primarily catching mainly those who lived in non-paying households.

    My prediction is that this will roll out in the spring in the US, and while we will see a lot of angry messages about it on Twitter and Reddit, people will get used to it soon enough, and it will indeed translate to higher subscription numbers.

    My one concern comes from other streaming services not following suit. If you can multi-account on Disney Plus and Paramount Plus, but not Netflix, maybe you just kill Netflix and go with the other two. That remains to be seen. I can tell you that one Achilles heel of Netflix is the fact that they simply do not have long running programs. Most do not last more than a few seasons, and the few that do tend to go 5 or 6. This means that customers will need to fall in love with new series in order to feel loyal to Netflix, and that may not happen, especially as they've been dialing down the amount of original programming being produced.

    There were also layoffs in June 2022, which were decided upon right as the stock was bottoming out. Whether another round of layoffs is coming is anyone's guess, but let me tell you that there is still a lot of fat to trim off of that pig.

    The world of premium streaming is still in its early stages. I imagine we will see various casualties and course corrections during the 2020s, before it lands into a stable model. I mean, someone actually thought CNN Plus was a good idea. There's still a lot to learn.
    Last edited by Harry Hollywood; 02-04-2023 at 12:15 AM.

  9. #9
    Diamond dwai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Hollywood View Post
    They claim that the FAQ shared by Netflix for US customers was released erroneously, but that may not be true. I have heard rumors that this was an intentional "mistake", meant to gauge public opinion prior to rolling out the actual changes next month.

    not to be a dick, but this is so clearly obvious it doesn't take an insider or galaxy brain to figure this out

    but your posts are fun to read

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    Silver The Boz's Avatar
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    As someone with 2 homes, one on each coast, that I spend substantial time in the day I canít use my subscription in both is the day I cancel. Itís as simple as that. I can use every other sub in both places including the MLB package so if Netflix is different, they are gone.

    While my situation isnít common, itís gonna create some problems for them if they donít have a carve out plan.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    As someone with 2 homes, one on each coast, that I spend substantial time in the day I canít use my subscription in both is the day I cancel. Itís as simple as that. I can use every other sub in both places including the MLB package so if Netflix is different, they are gone.

    While my situation isnít common, itís gonna create some problems for them if they donít have a carve out plan.
    It should actually be fine. As long as each device logs into the home IP, it's good for 31 days.

    If you're there longer than 31, you can reassign the home IP.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    As someone with 2 homes, one on each coast, that I spend substantial time in the day I canít use my subscription in both is the day I cancel. Itís as simple as that. I can use every other sub in both places including the MLB package so if Netflix is different, they are gone.

    While my situation isnít common, itís gonna create some problems for them if they donít have a carve out plan.
    It should actually be fine. As long as each device logs into the home IP, it's good for 31 days.

    If you're there longer than 31, you can reassign the home IP.
    What am I missing? How is this different than sharing the account with a family member or friend? How will they know itís me at both locations and not someone else using the account?

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    It should actually be fine. As long as each device logs into the home IP, it's good for 31 days.

    If you're there longer than 31, you can reassign the home IP.
    What am I missing? How is this different than sharing the account with a family member or friend? How will they know itís me at both locations and not someone else using the account?
    Because you'll need to have logged in from your home within 31 days on each device you want to use at your second home.

    If your family member or friend doesn't come to your home with their device once a month, they can't access your account.

  14. #14
    Silver The Boz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post

    What am I missing? How is this different than sharing the account with a family member or friend? How will they know itís me at both locations and not someone else using the account?
    Because you'll need to have logged in from your home within 31 days on each device you want to use at your second home.

    If your family member or friend doesn't come to your home with their device once a month, they can't access your account.
    So I wonít be able to use my TV at my second home as I suspected, but I could use an IPad. This is definitely going to be an issue for people in my situation.

    Thanks for the explanation.

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    Plutonium Sanlmar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    Because you'll need to have logged in from your home within 31 days on each device you want to use at your second home.

    If your family member or friend doesn't come to your home with their device once a month, they can't access your account.
    So I won’t be able to use my TV at my second home as I suspected, but I could use an IPad. This is definitely going to be an issue for people in my situation.

    Thanks for the explanation.
    It’s only television. Nobody is going to devote this kind of energy. Its absolutely ludicrous.

    The YouTuber in this thread pointed out everything is available via torrent but folks are willing to pay for CONVENIENCE.

    People never want to be fucked with. Hmm, generally found thet to be true.

    NOT CONVENIENT.

  16. #16
    Diamond dwai's Avatar
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    honestly if you're paying for Netflix I don't want to speak to you, once they weren't the only game in town, the content was trash.

    to be fair I don't subscribe to any subscription streaming service, I have over the air cable, internet, youtube, and my own private media server with like 15tb of TV and movies(yes fbi, I illegally downloaded all of it)

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    Gold Kuntmissioner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    Because you'll need to have logged in from your home within 31 days on each device you want to use at your second home.

    If your family member or friend doesn't come to your home with their device once a month, they can't access your account.
    So I wonít be able to use my TV at my second home as I suspected, but I could use an IPad. This is definitely going to be an issue for people in my situation.

    Thanks for the explanation.
    As Todd clearly explained, you will be fine. Just reassign the home IP, depending on which home you're in.

  18. #18
    Gold JeffDime's Avatar
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    Last edited by JeffDime; 02-04-2023 at 06:26 PM.

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    Gold JeffDime's Avatar
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    Charlie has an update.



    It’s funny that he mentioned Costa Rica. I dated a girl from Costa Rica and she used my Netflix account more than I did. Prime video as well. There is a lot of password sharing there for sure. They may have had more people watching from an account from the US than down there. It’s honestly a good possibility. I did live down there for the better part of a year and they never gave me any shit about it.
    Last edited by JeffDime; 02-04-2023 at 06:28 PM.

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    Just post Charlieís updates. No way to do it better.


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