Netflix: We’re not cracking down on simultaneous streams

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Netflix is denying charges that it has started to crack down on users streaming to more than one device at any given time. Rumors of such a crackdown appeared online earlier this week: The blog Stop the Cap! posted a report that suggested the changes went into effect during the past weekend.

From the blog post:

Netflix streaming customers who happen to share their account with other family members are having a frustrated Labor Day weekend as Netflix completes implementation of strict new limits on the number of concurrent video streams available for viewing.

Netflix has in the past told its subscribers that the number of possible simultaneous streams depends on the subscription tier. Subscribers with a one DVD plan could access a single stream at any given time, subscribers of the two DVDs plan could access two streams, and so forth. However, these limits were never really enforced, and they made even less sense after the company separated its DVD and online subscriptions this summer.

Stop the Cap! has now reported that a number of users were getting error messages, telling them to “stop playing at least one movie” in order to access a new stream. However, this was a glitch and not a policy change, according to Netflix VP of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey, who told us via email:

No Netflix member is limited to less than two concurrent streams. A few Netflix members have heard differently from us, which is an error that we are correcting.

Netflix has been facing a substantial backlash over its decision to split up its subscription plans and in effect raise prices for some of its members by up to 60 percent. It’s understandable that the company would want to avoid any other action that could further enrage its customer base.

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