The consequences of Netflix’s new household rule | Opinion

It’s late at night, and whether you’ve just returned from the library to study, finished a shift at a part-time job, or are dining on the Ave, you know you need to relax. The first thing I always think of is relaxing with a show.

Netflix has been around forever and has been the primary streaming service for most college students for years. Whether it’s a new season of “Stranger Things” or deep dives into the world of Formula 1, there’s something for everyone, at any time of the year.

This convenience and comfort are essential for us as students. We need time to relax and forget about the stressful things around us.

But now Netflix is ​​debating taking this power away from us.

Very recently, Netflix made the switch to start charging for ads. Now the streaming giant is going to force accounts to stay in one physical household.

They’ve already started this process in Canada and New Zealand and it’s only a matter of time before Netflix implements it in the United States.

To achieve this possible The protector, users must regularly connect their devices to their home Wi-Fi under which the account is registered. This was all included in a release that Netflix mistakenly published in Chile, where the test runs also started.

This not only limits the number of family members and friends who can share Netflix accounts across locations, but also prevents students who rely on family accounts from watching their favorite shows and movies.

“I think this change will be a major inconvenience for students who share a Netflix account with their friends or family,” freshman Linhda Truong said via text message. “As a college student, I would consider forgoing Netflix because I can’t justify the cost of paying for a separate account when my family already has one that I was previously allowed to use.”

For most of the student population, Netflix is ​​used as a way to relax and escape from our otherwise chaotic lives as academics and work constantly surround us.

Not having access to Netflix will put a strain on the way students can relax after being bombarded with stress on a regular basis.

This not only affects students, but also non-traditional families, where everyone in the family can live in different households.

“It’s definitely aimed at non-traditional families and puts additional barriers for families who are already struggling to be separated,” fourth-year student Rhea Guliani said via text message. “Especially for low-income households.”

According to The Netflix Help Center, they define a family as “people who live in the same location as the account owner.” Families separated by distance for work, academics, and other opportunities are apparently not considered families by Netflix.

There are many financial reasons why Netflix does this. The first, of course, is to increase profits. According to Yahoo Finance, more than 100 million households have shared accounts. These are many potential customers that Netflix can get its hands on by restricting account sharing.

“I think this is Netflix’s strategy to increase profits. Maybe that’s why they have a new subscription with ads,” Truong said. “Because it’s a cheaper plan, it would encourage more people to pay for it, and the ads they watch will also bring a profit to Netflix.”

Netflix also thinks it can take advantage of its old customers. They think people can’t live without Netflix and can’t afford multiple subscriptions.

“I think this is just another way for Netflix to take advantage of its loyal customers who they know won’t give up on their subscription,” Guliani said. “People who share accounts have no choice but to get their own accounts.”

Maybe it’s a combination of all three, but one thing we can all agree on is that with the backlash Netflix is ​​experiencing with this change, other streaming platforms should avoid going in the same direction.

Despite Netflix’s claims that they’re doing this to improve content and crack down on overuse, it’s clear that this is just another move to exploit long-term customers and force those outside a family’s main household to often rely on subscribe the same. mindless content.

Whichever way you look at it, Netflix targets communities that can’t afford it. It takes advantage of low-income people, divorced families and poor students.

Netflix shouldn’t be going any further with this “household rule.” This would make its content even more inaccessible to these communities than it already is, hurting those in desperate need of an escape from long days of school and work.

Reach author Fiona Paterson at Twitter: @fiona_326

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