The Netflix password sharing crackdown is coming

The Netflix password sharing crackdown is coming

Netflix is ​​stepping up its efforts to make free-to-download viewers pay: It will begin charging for password sharing early next year and will introduce a system that will add fees for “additional members” sub-accounts when members outside the same household use the membership.

The company did not specify the cost of these new fees when it confirmed the plan last week. However, the change is already being tested in several Latin American countries, where Netflix charges a fee for each additional member that is roughly one-quarter the price of a standard plan.

If Netflix sticks to this practice, then each additional member sub-account in the US would cost around $3.50 to $4 – possibly as much as $4.43, based on the fees in Chile.

And if they stick to the standards of these account sharing tests, Netflix is ​​also likely to make these “member extra” fees available only on its standard and $20-a-month Premium plans, both of which allow more than one simultaneous stream.

In tests, Netflix did not offer the option of these “additional member” fees on its basic plans. Netflix’s $10-a-month Basic tier and a new plan coming next month — the $7-a-month Basic with Ads — limit your viewing to one simultaneous stream, making account sharing difficult.

Netflix has not specified how it will enforce free password sharing once the fees are rolled out more widely.

Netflix password sharing has ended

After years of being relatively laissez-faire when it comes to password sharing, Netflix has begun testing ways to “monetize account sharing” after experiencing its biggest subscriber losses earlier this year. In addition to password sharing fees, it plans to launch Netflix cheaper ad-supported subscriptions next month.

Netflix’s dominance of streaming video — not to mention years of unrelenting subscriber growth — has prompted nearly every major Hollywood media company to pour billions of dollars into their own streaming operations. These so-called streaming wars have brought a wave of new services, including Disney Plus, HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount Plus and Apple TV Plus. This flood of streaming options has complicated how many services you need to use (and often pay for) to watch your favorite shows and movies online.

Now, as it feels the heat of intensifying competition to keep your attention and your subscription, Netflix is ​​pursuing strategies it has discarded for years.

The password-sharing fee system that Netflix will introduce appears to be modeled after a scheme it has been testing in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru for about six months.

A day before Netflix revealed its plans to roll out these account sharing fees more broadly, it made the announcement by launching a profile transfer feature that is a key part of password sharing fees being tested in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru. This feature allows a profile created on a shared Netflix account to transfer watch history and recommendations to a new independent account. This new account can then be added to someone else’s Standard or Premium subscription plan as an additional member, or they can sign up for their own membership.

In July, Netflix said it would test a different method in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. This test established the account’s primary residence as the “home” for the membership. If the service detects streaming in any additional household for more than two weeks, it prompts the account to set up — and pay for — additional “homes,” with a limit on the number of additional households you can add depending on how much you’re already paying for Netflix. Netflix appears to be eschewing this model in favor of another it has been testing.

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