Did you know that more than 100 million households currently share Netflix passwords? If you’re one of them, your ‘happy viewing’ days could be over.
Netflix’s streaming video dominance, combined with years of unstoppable subscriber growth, compelled nearly all of Hollywood’s major media companies to invest billions of dollars in their own streaming operations.
During the so-called streaming wars, a slew of new services emerged, including Disney Plus, HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount Plus, and Apple TV Plus. This influx of streaming options has complicated the number of services you must use (and, in many cases, pay for) in order to watch your favorite shows and movies online.
Now, feeling the heat of increased competition, Netflix is finally pursuing strategies it had previously dismissed, such as an account-sharing crackdown.
What is Netflix’s account-sharing crackdown plan?
Netflix is finally moving forward with its plan to “monetize account sharing” by charging subscribers a fee for sharing their account with users outside their household.
According to the company, users who borrow someone else’s account will be able to transfer their existing profile information, including viewing history and personalized recommendations, to their own account.
The Process: How will Netflix be able to track the user accounts?
Netflix says that if your account is persistently accessed from a location outside your household, or if someone signs into your account from a device that isn’t associated with the household, Netflix may request verification from the primary account owner.
Netflix accomplishes this by sending a link to a four-digit verification code to the primary account’s email address or phone number. This code must be entered into the device within 15 minutes, or you will be required to request another.
The streaming company also shared on their website that they will use “IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity from devices signed into the Netflix account” to determine which devices are in the same household.
Therefore, people who do not live in your household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix – which is a major turnaround for a company that six years ago tweeted, “Love is sharing a password.”
The Cost: How much would the paid account sharing be?
The company has not yet specified the prices for these new charges. However, the fee system has already been tested in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. In these countries, the fee is roughly equivalent to one-quarter of the cost of a Standard plan.
If Netflix continues with this practice, each additional member subaccount in the United States would cost between $3.50 and $4 – though a fairly wide range was tested. Subaccounts could cost as much as $4.43 if US fees are comparable to Chile’s.
The Start Date: When will the crackdown be implemented?
Netflix announced that it will begin charging account-sharing fees before the end of March 2023, with a full global rollout taking several quarters.
The company also stated that the rollout would be gradual across its markets: Netflix will not begin charging everyone globally at the same time, as if by flipping a switch. Instead, it will begin in one of several locations and proceed from there.
User concerns: Can I share a low-cost Basic account with additional members?
Most likely not. If Netflix follows the norms of the Latin American account-sharing tests, these “extra member” fees would be available only on its Standard ($15.50 per month in the US) and Premium ($20 per month in the US) plans, both of which allow for more than one simultaneous stream.
In the tests, Netflix did not include an option for these “extra member” fees on its Basic plans, which are now available in some countries as two options: an ad-free Basic account and a cheaper “Basic with ads.” In the US, the ad-free Basic tier costs $10 per month, while the ad-supported level costs $7.
Is Netflix still worth it?
Regardless of the age – seniors, adults, teenagers, and kids, Netflix serves as a great source of content, including pre-existing and original movies, documentaries, and television series.
Surely, many of us will be disappointed by this news, but some will still be willing to pay the extra money to keep ourselves entertained – especially with Brightlife’s 2023’s top-rated Netflix shows that you simply cannot miss.