Password sharing is ubiquitous when it comes to streaming services; a lot of people share passwords for services like HBO Max, Hulu and Amazon Prime (among many others). One of the most popular streaming services, Netflix, is now testing out a plan to charge people extra for sharing their passwords.
In a blog post on Wednesday (March 16), Netflix director of product innovation Chengyi Long announced a move that would “enable members who share outside their household to do so easily and securely, while also paying a bit more.”
The new features are starting in three countries: Chile, Peru and Costa Rica. Long said the sharing was impacting the company’s bottom line.
“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. As a result, accounts are being shared between households — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”
The “add an extra member” plan lets people add accounts for two people they don’t live with, and lets them get their own profile.
“Members on our Standard and Premium plans will be able to add sub accounts for up to two people they don’t live with – each with their own profile, personalized recommendations, login and password – at a lower price: 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru.”
Netflix will also allow people to transfer profiles to a new account.
“Members on our Basic, Standard, and Premium plans can enable people who share their account to transfer profile information either to a new account or an Extra Member sub account – keeping the viewing history, My List, and personalized recommendations.”
Whether or not these new plans will eventually make their way beyond these countries remains to be seen. Netflix seems to understand, to a certain extent, that password sharing is part of the reason the service became so popular in the first place. Long explained:
“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.”