Password sharing has been synonymous with Netflix ever since the streaming service has existed. Many users buy the subscription and lend out the password to their friends or family so that they can also watch on the same account. So far, this has been a relatively harmless practice as this doesn’t explicitly advocate for piracy or dangle on the lines of legality. However, the company has tried to restrict this behavior several times in the past, and it looks like things are finally about to get serious.
In a new blogpost titled “Paying to Share Outside Your Household” , Netflix has made it clear that a new feature pertaining to controlling password sharing is ready and most likely launching very soon. This is aimed at limiting password sharing outside the household, and not within. Chenyi Long, director of product information at Netflix had this to say about the matter:
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.
Crackdown on password sharing
The blogpost then goes on to introduce a new feature called “Add an Extra Member” that Netflix is currently testing. This feature will allow account owners to add up to two members who don’t live with them under their account. So, if you have lent your Netflix account to a friend who lives away, in the future they are going to have to pay an extra fee to gain their own sub-account under yours. Of course, this is entirely optional and if you choose not to pay, then they simply won’t be able to access your account.
Testing for this feature will begin in the coming weeks in three countries: Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru; with varying fees at 380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru. Users residing in these countries will be met with a new prompt asking them to pay a small fee if they wish to be on a members’ account but are outside the household. The playlists, recommendations, and all settings associated with the user profile will not be lost and simply carry over to the master account, either new or existing.
In conjunction with this, there’s another feature being tested called “Transfer Profile to a New Account” which basically is a proper term for saying that foreign users can transfer their profile as is to any account they prefer to be under. Which, in turn, means that if you are already using a profile under someone else’s account then your profile will be separated eventually, either asking you to transfer it to a newly-created account or your friend’s account but with that aforementioned fee.
Why and when is this coming to your region?
Whether this feature will make its way over to the States, or any other part of the world for that matter, remains yet to be seen. But, with a proper article up on their website and testing already underway, it’s safe to say that Netflix is serious this time and wants to put an end to password sharing at last. Netflix says that this will allow them to secure more funding that will allow them to invest it in the future to deliver even better content.
The company’s explanation behind limiting password sharing is that by separating user profiles under an account to pay extra, they can provide a unique password and login e-mail for that user, which means that the owner’s password and login details will no longer be required. As you can tell, this would eliminate the need to share your own password with a friend or family member as now (as long as they’re added) they will have their own login details, creating a sub-account under but separate from yours.
This decision doesn’t come as a surprise, however, as the streaming giant has been vocal about password sharing for the past few years, not only discouraging it but also experimenting with ways to limit it from server-side. Many instances in the past have come close to Netflix finally closing down password sharing for good, but none seemed as serious as this, as now the feature has an official name and everything along with an actively trial in three countries.
In short, you’re going to have to pay Netflix a small fee in order to use a profile under someone else’s account if you don’t live with them. You can either do that, or simply transfer your profile to a new account by subscribing to Netflix yourself. Paying that small fee to use someone else’s account will be cheaper as you’ll only have to pay a discounted fee, however if you wish to transfer your profile to new account with any plan of your choice, you’ll have to pay the full monthly charges as is standard.
The feature is in testing stages at the moment, but with things looking as serious as they are, there’s a high probability that Netflix will limit accounts all over the world soon. Till then, you can enjoy the freedom of leeching off a friend or family member’s account because things are about to get ugly. Netflix says the reason for doing all this is to provide better account security and to procure more investment for their future projects (shows and films).