Netflix, the SVOD giant

The legal streaming platform NETFLIX, exists in the UK since 2012. The number of households in the UK subscribing to Netflix reached over 13 million in the first quarter of 2020 and its catalogue includes about 6 000 available films and TV series across all genres.


For a monthly fee of £5.99 to £11.99, it is possible to use it on several screens. Hence the question: can this service be legally shared in order to reduce costs?

The different plans on Netflix

NETFLIX offers 3 plans in the UK :

  • The Basic plan at £5.99/month, which allows you to watch your films and series on a single screen. HD is not available.
  • The Standard plan at £8.99/month, which allows you to watch on two screens simultaneously and in HD.
  • The Premium plan at £11.99/month allows you to watch films and series in HD and ultra HD on up to four screens simultaneously.

The screens include TVs, tablets, computers and smartphones. If it is possible to use several screens simultaneously, it makes sense to be able to share the streaming service. This is why Netflix has created the profile system.

Profiles, a personalized Netflix experience

Profiles are home pages that are personalized according to the age, tastes, language and history of each user. Up to five profiles can be created and anyone can access them, as only general access to Netflix is password protected. However, only the owner can change the password, block access or delete other people's profiles.

Sharing according to Netflix

Regarding stream sharing, Netflix's general terms and conditions of use are clear :

  • "The Netflix service and any content viewed through the service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household."
  • "The member who created the Netflix account and whose Payment Method is charged (the "Account Owner") has access and control over the Netflix account and the Netflix ready devices that are used to access our service and is responsible for any activity that occurs through the Netflix account."

In summary, the account owner is responsible for the use of Netflix on ALL devices that use his/her service from his/her subscription and only individuals in the household can share the subscribed plan.

However, it is not clear whether a "household" is understood in the legal sense of the term or not, i.e. whether it is necessary to live in the same dwelling (in which case one could share one's subscription with one's roommate) or in the sense of a "family" (in which case one could share one's subscription with the little brother went abroad to study). What is certain, however, is that, for copyright reasons, it is not possible to share a plan between two people located in two different countries.

Regarding Netflix's position on the subject, the CEO himself seemed to indicate that sharing did not bother him, indicating that users who shared an account would eventually want their own subscription later on. However, according to the french newspaper "Le Monde", the practice of sharing "between friends" would cause the American giant to lose up to 550 million dollars.


In conclusion, Netflix account sharing is well known and for the moment tolerated by the company. To share your Netflix subscription with your family or roommates without having to chase after them and automatically, the online money pot system is the fastest and easiest solution.

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