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Password sharing crackdown: Netflix confirms users will need to set 'primary location'

The streaming company is expected to launch new restrictions on password sharing for users in the U.S. next month.

WASHINGTON — Netflix is expanding its restrictions on password sharing in four new countries.

The streaming company shared new guidelines Wednesday for users in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, a month before the expected U.S. launch.

Chengyi Long, Netflix's director of product innovation, confirmed in a post that the streaming company will require users to set a "primary location" for their Netflix accounts. 

"Today, over 100 million households are sharing accounts — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films," Long said in the press release. "A Netflix account is intended for one household and members can choose from a range of plans with different features."

While the guidelines could change before the U.S. launch, the rules give an idea of what American Netflix users may soon face. 

For members with the Standard ($15.49 a month) or Premium plan ($19.99 a month), users can add another "sub account" for up to two people outside of their household, according to the guidelines. 

Prices for adding another member range depending on the country — 7.99 Canadian dollars a month per person in Canada, 7.99 New Zealand dollars in New Zealand, 3.99 Euros in Portugal and 5.99 Euros in Spain. In American currency, each would be between four to six dollars. 

Netflix also assured customers that the new restrictions won't affect users who are traveling, a guideline that the company accidentally shared on its website's help center on Feb. 2. 

"Members can still easily watch Netflix on their personal devices or log into a new TV, like at a hotel or holiday rental," the company said.

The streaming company had tested out its password sharing restrictions last year in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru. In January, the company told investors it planned to expand the changes to other countries by March 31.

As Netflix prepares to crack down on password sharing in the U.S. next month, it remains unclear whether these guidelines will be the same.

"As always, we’ll refine these new features based on member feedback so that we continue to improve Netflix in the years ahead," Netflix said. 

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