The days of freely sharing your Netflix password are over
It’s been nearly six months since Netflix started testing a model that charged $2-$3 for users to share their account with someone in a different household in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru. Now, the streaming provider is ready to take the program to the United States.
In the past, Netflix has taken a ‘users sharing their passwords is cool as long as they don’t sell them’ approach. But with record subscriber losses this past year, Netflix needs to find a way to recoup that lost revenue.
“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans,” Netflix said in a blog post. “While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared. As a result, accounts are being shared between households — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”
“Investing in great new TV and films” means that now users will be charged to add subaccounts, to the tune of roughly $3.50 to $4.00 per member. While we wait on all the details, it’s likely the U.S. model will mirror that of the one tested in South America. That program was available to standard- and premium-plan customers and let them add accounts for up to two people they don’t live with. The “extra members” had their own profiles, personalized recommendations, and logins and passwords. The fee is less than what a new user would have to pay to create an account, but Netflix maintains it will help bankroll more original content.
But what Netflix really wants you to do is use the company’s Profile Transfer feature, “that lets people using your account transfer a profile — keeping the personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List, saved games, and other settings — when they start their own membership.”
A new membership means higher fees than being added as a subaccount, which means more money to the streamer.
The changes in password sharing is just one of many things churning over at Netflix the past year. The streamer is also getting ready to add ad-supported tiers that offer lower costs, but will continue to offer ad-free programing for kids.
Netflix has not announced an official launch date for the password sharing fees or an exact amount, but be ready come early 2023.