Netflix’s latest attempt to put an end to illicit password-sharing involves adding an extra fee for accounts with profiles in multiple households, the streaming pioneer said on Wednesday.
The company is testing the latest feature in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru allowing members on its standard and premium plans to add up to two people who don’t live with them, for an extra monthly charge.
It announced the move on a blog posted by one of its San Francisco-based executives, suggesting the US could be next in line for the upcharge. Netflix said freeloading customers were costing the streaming giant money that could be spent on commissioning TV shows and movies.
The extra cost is 2,380 CLP ($ 2.98 USD) in Chile, $ 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN ($ 2.11 USD) in Peru. Netflix notes this is cheaper than if the secondary users had gotten their own accounts, which cost between $ 9.99 and $ 19.99 a month in the US.
Additionally, these two extra members will be able to have their own profiles, personalized recommendations, login and password.
The announcement was made on Wednesday and the new fee will first be tested in Costa Rica, Peru and Chile before entering other regional markets
Netflix’s Director of Product Innovation, Chenyi Long, said the streaming giant’s new charge will be invested towards having new TV series and film catalogs available for users
Netflix is also studying another feature that will allow members on a basic, standard or premium plan to transfer their profile information to a new account or a sub account retaining data such as viewing history and personalized recommendations.
The company currently allows people who live together to share their Netflix account. However, the plans have created some confusion about when and how accounts can be shared, the company said, adding it is impacting its ability to invest in new content.
‘We recognize that people have many entertainment choices, so we want to ensure any new features are flexible and useful for members, whose subscriptions fund all our great TV and films,’ Chengyi Long, Netflix’s Director of Product Innovation, wrote in a blog post .
She added that the company would test the new feature for their personal utility before making changes in other parts of the world.
Netflix is cracking down on users sharing their passwords to people outside of their household by adding an extra fee for accounts with profiles registered in different places, the streaming pioneer said on Wednesday
Netflix said it will also allow members on a basic, standard or premium plan to transfer their profile information to a new account or a sub account retaining data such as viewing history and personalized recommendations
Password-sharing is prohibited, according to Netflix’s terms and conditions, but the company has mostly been permissive towards the practice over the years. In 2016, the streaming giant even said password-sharing was acceptable as long as users didn’t make a profit from selling their account information.
However, since last year, Netflix has been testing new counter-measure features, including displaying a prompt on the screens of viewers using accounts belonging to people living in other households.
It says, ‘If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.’ Users were then given the option to verify the account with a text or email code or to start their own Netflix trial.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s latest charge comes after the company raised the cost of its subscription plans at the start of the year. In January, the company raised its prices by $ 1 to $ 2 per month in the US depending on the plan, in order to help pay for new programming to compete in the crowded online streaming market
The standard plan, which allows for two simultaneous streams per account, now costs $ 15.49 per month, up from $ 13.99, in the United States. Prices also went up in Canada, where the standard plan climbed to C $ 16.49 from C $ 14.99.
The price increases, the first in those regional markets since October 2020, comes on the heels of the streaming service’s ‘Squid Game’. The popular Korean series was an instant hit after its September 2021 premiere and has continued to draw viewers ever since.
Additionally, the US price of Netflix’s premium plan, which enables four streams at a time and streaming in ultra HD, was increased by $ 2 to $ 19.99 per month.
For Netflix’s basic plan, with one stream, the cost rose by $ 1 to $ 9.99 per month.
In Canada, the premium plan rose by C $ 2 to C $ 20.99, and the basic plan was unchanged at C $ 9.99.
The US and Canada combined is Netflix’s largest region with 74 million customers as of September 2021. Most of the company’s recent growth has come from new markets overseas.
Total global subscriptions reached 222 million, as of January 2022, making the streaming giant a worldwide success since first charging customers $ 7.99 per month in 2013 for its standard subscription plan. The first price jump was in April 2014, when the price moved to $ 8.99 per month.
In October 2015, standard monthly subscriptions increased to $ 9.99 per month, and in September 2017 jumped to $ 10.99 a month.
Roughly two years later, in January 2019, the price spiked another dollar to $ 11.99, and again by another dollar in October 2020 to make the monthly subscription cost of $ 13.99.
Netflix’s subscription plans also retain first place for the highest price for a monthly service when compared to its streaming competitors.
The second highest rates for standard plans are tied between Paramount Plus and HBO Max at $ 14.99 per month, then Amazon Prime Video at $ 12.99 a month, Disney + at $ 7.99 per month, Hulu at $ 6.99 per month and Peacock at $ 4.99 per month.
Apple TV and Discovery Plus currently sit at $ 4.99 per month, as well.