Hi everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve last written a Cathy’s Opinions post, but boy oh boy is there something I want to talk to you all about. If you haven’t heard (most likely if you don’t live in a country that’s been affected), Netflix has recently changed its password policy so that you can no longer share your account with others living outside of your household. Don’t worry though because this change is currently only affecting those living in (I believe) Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain. So if you don’t see your country listed, you’re safe for now. But unfortunately for me, as a good ol’ Canadian, this means that this new policy change will directly affect me.

If you’re curious as to what some of the new changes are, let me give you a quick rundown of how Netflix accounts work now. As I mentioned above, because Netflix accounts from now on can only be accessed by members living in the same household, account owners now have to set up a “primary location”. Supposedly all members need to do is log into the shared Netflix account at least once a month using the primary location’s WIFI, but I’m not 100% sure how legitimate that is. And if you want to support any members living outside of the household, it will now also cost an additional $7.99 CAD per person. Here’s a quick look at the plan features taken directly from the Netflix website:

You may be wondering, why are you so riled up about this, Cathy? Well, there are a couple reasons why I’m unhappy about this change. If you recall one of my previous Cathy’s Opinions posts, “Why Marvel’s Exclusive Disney+ Shows Are Problematic,” I discussed how exclusivity can be dangerous when it specifically impacts those who can’t afford it. In some ways, this new password policy change from Netflix is similarly problematic. Not only have they increased plan prices over the past couple of years, now they’re saying you can’t share accounts despite being able to have up to five different profiles at once. So if you’re a freshman about to dorm at university, a young adult about to move out of their parent’s house, or simply someone struggling with their expenses, say goodbye to Netflix because you’re going to have pay for your own now. And it’s disappointing to see because if you take a quick look at their plan features (the image above), it’s become evident to me that Netflix has turned to take a more “pay more to keep the basics” approach to their platform.

And there’s been A LOT of backlash targeted at Netflix ever since they’ve announced this change. I mean, not only did they go back on their word that sharing passwords is okay, people have taken this opportunity to voice their complaints about the platform as a whole. Some comments I’ve read include how Netflix doesn’t make any good original content anymore, how they’ve cancelled countless series, how they’ve continually raised plan prices, and how this new policy change is only affecting certain countries. I know for us Canadians, I’ve read some people questioning why Canada is affected as a country, but not the United States for instance (my boyfriend joked that Canada always gets the bad end of the stick).

The sad thing is? I agree with most of these arguments that people are making – Netflix is expensive now, Netflix does have platform issues, and Netflix has made a terrible marketing decision. Look, as a streaming platform, I do enjoy using Netflix. It’s a convenient way to browse through a bunch of movies and shows that I love whenever I want. But with so many of their recent releases being mostly misses (except for an occasional few of course) and so much content getting repeatedly taken off the service, I have to wonder, is it really worth it for me to pay for my own Netflix? As a young adult not living at the “primary location” used by my Netflix holder, I’ve recently had to consider whether or not I want to continue using this streaming service. And it seems like this is a question many people have been facing – is Netflix even…worth it?

Already paying for Disney+ (which I think is now a superior streaming service), my short answer is: no. Do I really want to pay another $16.49 for a standard account or even $20.99 for a premium account? When I already have so many other expenses to worry about, I’m sorry Netflix, but the answer is no. While it may not seem like a big deal, not being able to split the cost with friends or stay on a family plan despite living apart actually makes a huge difference. That seems to be the recurring answer though, because from talks with my friends and reading comments online, it seems like a majority of people will be cancelling their Netflix subscription thanks to the implementation of this new policy. While the reasons vary vastly from person to person, from not wanting to support the company to not wanting to pay the extra fees, I think everyone shares the common thought that Netflix just isn’t what it used to be.

And I can’t help but think about how much Netflix is going to be losing from this trade off. In negatively affecting customers’ satisfaction, will their plan to increase the company’s income really work? With so many people cancelling their subscription (from people I know personally to people online) it just seems like this was a bad marketing decision. I remember when I first heard about this news, I thought to myself, “so instead of focusing on creating quality content that people will enjoy and want to purchase Netflix for, they’re effectively getting people to consider cancelling instead?” I’m really curious to hear what you guys think about this new policy change, especially those of you who are not affected by it. Do you think it’s a reasonable decision by Netflix or do you agree that it’s a strange marketing plan? And most importantly, what do you guys think about Netflix in general – are you enjoying the streaming service or do you have some complaints you’d like to voice yourself?