Netflix password sharing crackdown: is there an extra user fee for account sharing - how will they stop it?

The streaming service is planning to crack down on password sharing

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Netflix has announced plans to introduce paid-for “shared accounts” in an attempt to crack down on password sharing.

The streaming service said it wants to roll out plans to monetise paid-for account sharing globally, with users to be encouraged to pay a fee for an additional subscriber.

It means that any customers who share their login details with someone else will be charged extra.

Netflix has announced plans to introduce paid-for “shared accounts” (Photo: Adobe)Netflix has announced plans to introduce paid-for “shared accounts” (Photo: Adobe)
Netflix has announced plans to introduce paid-for “shared accounts” (Photo: Adobe)

How does Netflix plan to stop password sharing?

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix said it wants to “monetise” paid-for account sharing globally to discourage users from sharing their passwords.

Under current rules, subscribers are told they are not supposed to share their password with people outside of their household, but this hasn’t prevented users from giving their account details to friends and family to save money.

Now the streaming service is planning to introduce paid-for “shared accounts” worldwide from next year and will encourage subscribers to pay for an extra user.

Netflix said: “We’ve landed on a thoughtful approach to monetise account sharing and we’ll begin rolling this out more broadly starting in early 2023.

“After listening to consumer feedback, we are going to offer the ability for borrowers to transfer their Netflix profile into their own account, and for sharers to manage their devices more easily and to create sub-accounts (“extra member”), if they want to pay for family or friends.

“In countries with our lower-priced ad-supported plan, we expect the profile transfer option for borrowers to be especially popular.”

A similar scheme already runs in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, with users in these countries paying an extra $2.99 for each “second home” using their account.

Netflix has not yet announced when this could be introduced in the UK, but said in a recent blog post that it “will not make changes in other countries until we better understand what’s easiest for our members”.

What other changes is Netflix making?

Netflix has confirmed plans to launch a new cheaper streaming tier in the UK from November that will feature adverts.

The new basic tier with adverts will launch in the UK on 3 November and will cost £4.99 per month, Netflix chief operating officer Greg Peters said. At launch, adverts will be 15 or 30 seconds in length and will play before and during series and films, with an average of four to five minutes of adverts per hour.

A limited number of films and TV series will not be available due to licensing restrictions, but Netflix has said it is working on reducing this number. There will also be no ability to download titles and the video quality will range up to 720p/HD on the new tier.

Netflix said that customers will still be able to personalise their viewing experience and watch content on a range of TV and mobile devices, as they can on their current plans. The new tier will first be available in 12 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the UK and the US.

It comes as Netflix reversed its recent subscriber losses and picked up 2.4 million new users during the July-September period. It marks a comeback from a loss of 1.2 million customers during the first half of the year amid stiffer competition and soaring inflation that is squeezing household budgets.

Netflix now boasts 223 million subscribers, enabling the company to at least temporarily reclaim the mantle as the world’s largest video streaming service. Disney+ eclipsed Netflix in August when it reported its service had 221 million subscribers, a number that will be updated on 8 November when Disney is scheduled to report its summertime results.