• Variety reports that Netflix is testing a new system designed to crack down on password sharing, with some users seeing a warning screen that says, "If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching."
According to the story, "the prompt provides three options to users: They can get an email or text verification code to authenticate the account, or they can click on a button that says 'Verify Later.' The message also lets users sign up for a new account."
The Variety story notes that the warning screen is only being seen by some users, is only seen on television screens (as opposed to mobile devices), and that Netflix isn't saying if it is random or prompted by specific behavior.
However, the move seems to be contrary to co-founder Reed Hastings' longtime assertion that password sharing was positive in terms of building a Netflix community, even though the company's terms of service forbid it. Variety offers one rationale - as Netflix gets to a near-saturation point in terms of subscribers, continued growth may rely on enforcing those terms of service to a greater degree.
• WWD reports that "Lord & Taylor will reemerge in April as a website only under its new ownership, in yet another revival of a liquidated retailer.
"Back in October, Saadia Group LLC bought Lord & Taylor and its parent company Le Tote for $12 million, through a bankruptcy auction. Le Tote and Lord & Taylor, impacted by the pandemic, went bankrupt in August 2020 and all the Lord & Taylor stores were liquidated by the end of February 2021."
According to the story, "the Lord & Taylor e-commerce website will launch in mid-April, initially selling men’s and women’s fashion, beauty, skin care, fragrances and home … In the second quarter of 2021, children’s wear, fashion accessories and footwear will be added to the offering."
• Instacart is using NASCAR to burnish its brand image - this weekend, it will sponsor The Instacart 500, part of NASCAR Cup Series taking place at the Phoenix Raceway.
“We’re proud to partner with Instacart for the first time with the upcoming Instacart 500 NASCAR Cup Series weekend,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese. “Instacart has provided a very important service to our communities over the last year and we’re honored to partner with them as we kick off the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series events at Phoenix Raceway.”
Financial terms for the race's naming rights have not been disclosed.