Beware, moochers, bc the Netflix update you’ve been dreading could very well be on its way as the international streaming giant is reportedly looking at limiting how many people can use a Netflix account.

Deadline reports that the US is testing out a function that sends a notification to users that reads: “Is this your account? If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”

Users can then enter their own information and create an account, which comes with a 30-day free trial in certain territories.

If the user cannot verify that they are the person who forks out for that particular account, they will be barred from using it.

The test is currently being rolled out in the States, which begs the question: will us Aussies be affected?

We spoke to the folks at Netflix Australia and here’s what they had to say: “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so.”

So yeah, it’s sounding like we may be impacted too.

Deadline reports that the reason behind the update isn’t just for account sharing reasons, but to also act as a security function against anti-fraud measures.

In 2016, Co-CEO Reed Hastings (then solo CEO) said password sharing is “something you have to learn to live with.” Then in October 2019, the issue was significant enough that COO and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said the company was seeking a “consumer-friendly” solution, but had not developed any specific plans.

Deadline adds that in 2020, Netflix added more than 37 million subscribers, a boost which was likely caused by the coronavirus pandemic as loads of folks were trapped indoors with nothing to do but binge telly (that and the fact that viral shows like Tiger King were released).

A research firm by the name of Parks Associates cited that overall losses by streaming services from password sharing is roughly at USD$9.1 billion, projecting that the figure will reach $12.5 billion by 2024, hence the crackdown, I guess. Magid, another researcher, says about one-third of Netflix users share their passwords.

So yeah, you can kinda see why this is happening. Sucky, but fair.