Streaming giant Netflix is testing a new feature that’ll charge users who share their passwords with people outside their households. As seen in its blog post, the company said it will start charging an additional fee for users who share their passwords outside of their household. This additional fee, however, will be lesser than the original subscription fee.
The new feature will allow Netflix users to add two “sub accounts” for this subsidized extra fee and will be tested in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru and launched in these countries before it is rolled out to other countries. Netflix failed to mention when the feature would be rolled out globally or if it’ll be rolled out to global subscribers.
How does Netflix plan to make this work?
The big question with features like this is how the provider plans to make it work. According to Netflix, each sub-account will, under this feature, have their own profile and personalized recommendations as well as their own login and password. They also can choose to set up their own accounts using their name and billing information and will keep their viewing history, watch list and personalized recommendations on their new accounts if they choose to open one.
Netflix will not be relying on location-based data but will be using IP addresses, device information, etc. This way, it will be able to better determine the amount of sharing that’s being done on an account.
In its statement, the company said that “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. While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared,” adding that sharing of passwords outside households has the “ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”
Under this new feature, accounts owners will have to verify sub-accounts with a code that’ll be sent via email. According to the company, the unethical sharing of passwords is affecting the quality of its service and maybe its ability to compete with rivals. The company reported slowing subscriber growth in its fourth-quarter earnings report and the problem may not be that it isn’t really adding new users but that accounts are being shared more than they should.
Netflix doesn’t want its users to think of the new feature as a crackdown. While Netflix may decide to roll it out globally, it may be another idea that may go down the drain if it suffers a backlash from users. “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. We’ll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world.” ,” Chengyi Long, Netflix’s director of Product Innovation wrote in a blog post.
Like other countries, Netflix has also joined the growing list of global companies that have halted operations and services in Russia following its attack on Ukraine.