Although Netflix enables people who live together to have a single subscription and maintain separate profiles, it is an open secret that many people may share their account beyond their household. Netflix has outlined plans to allow them to do so easily, securely, and legitimately, for an extra fee. The feature, and the pricing strategy, will initially be tested in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, with a view to extending it further.
Members on standard and premium plans will be able to add sub accounts for up to two people that they do not live with, each with their own profile, personalised recommendations, login and password, for an additional fee, equivalent to between $2 and $3 a month.
Members can enable people who share their account to transfer profile information either to a new account or an “extra member” sub account, keeping their viewing history, personal list and recommendations.
“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,” wrote Chengyi Long, the director of product innovation at Netflix. “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.”
Netflix ended 2021 with 221 million paid member accounts. 75 million of them were in the United States and Canada, a gain of just 1.3 million over the year. Netflix may be hoping to increase the number of paying accounts, after long accepting a certain amount of password sharing with family and friends as a form of promotion. Offering a discounted “upgrade” may be a prelude to cracking down on those who over share.