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Netflix password sharing crackdown prompts new subscription spike

Nearly 6m new members bite the bullet and sign up.

An illustration meant to show Netflix's account sharing in action.
Image credit: Netflix

Netflix's controversial crackdown on password sharing has, in the short term at least, provided the streaming service with a new subscriber boost.

Subscriptions were up by 5.9m since March, BBC News reported, presenting a far rosier picture than the losses faced this time last year.

In a statement, Netflix said it had seen a "healthy conversion of borrower households" into paid accounts, and that the number of account cancellations in protest at the changes had been low.

Netflix offers TV shows and movies as well as smartphone games, in case you weren't aware.Watch on YouTube

Netflix began clamping down on UK account password sharing in May, after tests elsewhere and a number of tweaks to the rules it would now enforce.

In short, Netflix would now like you to typically stream TV shows, movies and play Netflix games from a collection of devices regularly "connected to the internet at the main place you watch", which it calls your "Netflix Household".

Netflix has rolled out a "paid sharing" option where users with existing accounts can now pay for a secondary subscription bolt-on at around half the normal rate, to allow account sharing outside of their typical household.

The streaming service has also seen growth of its cheaper subscription offering which includes adverts.

But in a bid to boost profits, Netflix now no longer offers its cheaper ad-free plan in the UK and US, pushing people to pricier offerings - or one with adverts where it can recoup lost subscription revenue via funding from commercials.

Here in the UK, Netflix subscriptions now cost £5 a month with advertising, £11 a month for ad-free 1080p viewing, or £16 for ad-free 4K viewing. All include access to the company's catalogue of games.

Eurogamer previously took a look at some of the best games Netflix has in its catalogue, if you're after something new to try on your smartphone.

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