As it steps up its efforts to curb the widespread practice of password sharing, Netflix is unveiling a new feature that will give users–including those sharing someone else’s password–an easy way to transfer their profiles to new (and presumably legit) accounts.
Announced today in a blog post, Netflix’s new “Profile Transfer” tool lets you export all the key data in your profile–including your “personalized” recommendations, watch list, viewing history, and saved games–to a new account, presumably your own.
Netflix bills the new Profile Transfer tool as a way of navigating “life changes,” such as those that occur when “people move,” “families grow,” and “relationships end.”
But the feature also arrives as Netflix, which just got hit with two quarters of declining membership numbers, is getting serious about cracking down on password sharing.
The new “Transfer Profile” option, which is still rolling out to Netflix members (it hasn’t landed on my own account yet), can be accessed under your profile menu on the Netflix website.
To start the process, you must enter your email address and create a new password. Netflix will then transfer your recommendations, viewing history, My List, settings, and any saved games to your own new account.
A backup of your profile, minus game saves, will remain on the original account, and the owner of the first account will get a notification that you’re transferring your profile to a new account.
Netflix’s Profile Transfer announcements never mentions the password-sharing brouhaha, instead framing the feature as a way to “let your Netflix profile be a constant in a life full of changes.”
But one of the changes that’s coming for Netflix users is that the streamer is no longer turning a blind eye toward password sharers.
Stung by recently quarterly earnings that detail a steady stream of departing subscribers, Netflix has begun cracking down on password sharing in earnest.
Back in March, Netflix rolled out the option for account holders in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru to create reduced-priced “sub accounts” for up to two people they don’t live with.
In July, Netflix followed up the “sub account” tool with an “add a home” feature that allows users in five Latin American countries to “buy” more homes in which they–or someone else–can share the same Netflix account.
Netflix hasn’t revealed any repurcussions for password sharing. But we got a hint of what might be to come in a test last year, in which the company asked some viewers to enter a verification code sent to the account holder.