12:48 GMT18 April 2021
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    A study conducted by research firm Park Associates found that password piracy and sharing cost streaming services approximately $9.1 billion in losses for 2019. The firm estimated losses soar to $12.5 billion by 2024, unless features are implemented to curb lax password-sharing policies.

    From this week on, Netflix account owners may be greeted with a new sign-in pop-up asking them to verify their identity via SMS, or emailed verification code. 

    "If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching," the message reads, along with the option to "Join Free for 30 Days."  

    While Netflix has been exploring ways to curb password sharing for years, a representative for the leading on-demand streaming service stressed the importance of maintaining account security for customers.  

    "This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so," a company spokesperson for the streaming service told Reuters this week. 

    Naturally, netizens of all ages took issue with the change, and some even accused the company of attempting a money-grab under the guise of digital security.  

    Netflix presently offers basic ($8.99), standard ($13.99) and premium ($17.99) packages.

    Customers paying for the standard and premium packages are allowed to simultaneously stream content on two and four devices, respectively.   

    It's worth noting that users are able to skip the new prompt and verify their identity at a later time. It is unclear how many skips are allowed, or if skips will eventually lock a user out of the Netflix account. 

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