A couple of years ago, Netflix said they were considering “consumer-friendly ways” of stopping people from sharing passwords.  And now, we might be seeing their first stab at it.

Some people have received an on-screen message saying, quote, “Start your own Netflix for free today.  If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”

Then, you’re asked to confirm your account by entering a verification code, which would be sent to the owner of the account by email or text.

BUT . . . for now there’s also an option that says “verify later,” which lets you continue watching.  It’s unclear how long they’ll let you put it off.

A Netflix spokesperson says, quote, “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”

Of course, if Netflix is ONLY looking to boot unwanted piggy-backers who gain access to someone’s account and then never leave . . . this should do the trick.

But for people who are INTENTIONALLY sharing passwords, it just means that you’d occasionally also have to share codes, which could be tolerable unless they force you to verify every time people sign in from different locations.

For now, Netflix is spinning this as one of the hundreds of test features in various markets . . . so not everyone may see the message.  It’s also possible that they later abandon the experiment, or expand it.

By the way, a LOT of people share streaming accounts.

A recent survey of over 1,500 Americans found that nearly 40% of Americans are mooching off of someone else’s streaming account, and about 33% do so without permission from the account holder.

Of those who log in with someone else’s account, 52% are Netflix watchers, the most common choice by far.

51% of those who have a streaming account admit they let others use it . . . and Netflix is #1 in that category too.  72% of Netflix users have let someone use their account at least once.