Netflix Begins Clamping down on Password Sharing, Introduces New Charge via ‘Add a Home’ Option

Netflix Begins Clamping down on Password Sharing, Introduces New Charge via ‘Add a Home’ Option

Netflix, the world’s leading streaming service, has announced that it will begin testing a new “add a home” feature in selected countries that will charge users who share their accounts with others. The test is part of the company’s recent effort to reduce password sharing. From next month, users in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras will be asked to pay an additional fee if they use an account outside their primary residence for more than two weeks. This will not affect the use of Netflix on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, or people on vacation.

According to the company, each Netflix account in the test countries will include a home where you can access Netflix on any device starting in August. You must pay a fee if you want to allow someone else to use your Netflix account in another home. You can add a home to your account for an additional $2.99. Basic Netflix subscribers can add one extra home, Standard subscribers can add up to two extra homes, and Premium subscribers can add up to three additional homes. Users in these test areas can control where their accounts are used and remove homes from the account settings page.

“It’s fantastic that our members love Netflix movies and TV shows so much that they want to share them more broadly,” said Chengyi Long, Netflix’s director of product innovation. However, today’s widespread household account sharing undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve our service.”

Netflix claims that this test expands on a similar feature called “add extra member,” launched earlier this year in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. As part of this test, subscribers must pay an additional fee if they share the service with people not members of their household. In addition, the feature allows households to add up to two “subaccounts” for less than the full-priced Netflix service.

According to Netflix, this solution does not rely on location-based data like GPS. Instead, it is utilizing the same information it currently uses to provide its service to its end users, such as an IP address, device IDs, and other information about devices signed into the Netflix account across the household. In addition, Netflix can detect persistent sharing occurring outside of a household using this method.

During its first-quarter earnings call, the company announced that it would expand tests that charge members a higher price if they share their accounts with people outside their household. Netflix has stated that it will need to iterate on the feature for another year to ensure it strikes the right balance regarding how much extra to charge subscribers who have shared their Netflix accounts with other users outside their household.

Netflix alleged that more than 100 million households are using accounts that have been paid for by others and have cited password sharing as one of the primary reasons for the company’s slowing subscriber growth. The company lost 200,000 customers in the first quarter and predicted another 2 million in the second. Its stock has dropped more than 65 percent this year as investors worry about the streaming industry’s future.

These tests aren’t the only way Netflix intends to monetize its subscriber base; the company has also stated that it will launch an ad-supported plan. In addition, Netflix announced last week that it is teaming up with Microsoft as its “global advertising technology and sales partner” to help the streaming service generate revenue through advertising.