Netflix wants money for using shared accounts
Streaming service Netflix has expanded measures to combat password sharing in the United States, according to the company's website.
In the near future, similar changes will be made to dozens of global markets.
Platform users will now be able to share passwords of their account, but each new member will cost an additional USD 7.99 per month.
The company warned that accounts of users cannot be transferred for free outside of their homes. It is unknown how exactly violators will be identified. Users will still be able to watch Netflix outside of their home IP address.
"The Netflix account is intended for use by the same family. Anyone living in this family can use Netflix wherever they are, at home, on the road, on vacation, and take advantage of new features such as "Profile transfer" and "Access and Device Management," the company said.
The company estimates that 100 million people out of a total of 220 million subscribers worldwide use shared accounts. This, according to the company, leads to a reduction in revenue and affects the ability of Netflix to invest in new content.
So far, it's been easy for subscribers to share their username and password with friends outside of their home.
Recall that in 2017, Netflix even seemed to authorize this practice itself, writing on Twitter "Love is sharing a password."
But growing competition in the streaming market and shrinking customers due to rising cost of living have prompted Netflix to focus on increasing revenue.
The company said that allowing accounts to be used by multiple people in households "created confusion" about when and how people can share.
It said that users from Canada, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal will be asked to set up a "primary location" for their account and manage who has access to it.
However, users will still be able to watch Netflix while traveling, both on their personal devices and in other places, such as a hotel.
In the first half of 2022, the number of Netflix subscribers fell sharply. The company then cut hundreds of jobs and set higher package prices to cover rising costs.
Then, in the last three months of 2022, the company's user base grew by 7.66 million, more than expected, and the total number of paid subscribers worldwide reached almost 231 million.
Last November, the company introduced a cheaper ad-supported option in 12 countries, including most of Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.