Netflix confirms rule change which means millions will be charged if they share accounts
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Netflix have already been testing a feature that stops users sharing passwords between addresses, but now they’ll be rolling that out more widely, potentially meaning millions of people using Netflix for free are going to have to pay.
There will be an option for ‘paid sharing’ though, which will cost less than a full subscription, offering the option to keep one account between several households.
Publishing their earnings report last week, Netflix wrote: "Later in Q1, we expect to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly.
Today’s widespread account sharing (100million+ households) undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business."
So far, we have no idea when those new rules will be coming into force, but "later in Q1" suggests that it’s close.
We also don’t yet know which areas will be getting this treatment, but they’ve been testing it in Latin America of late.
There will also be features added that will allow Netflix to monitor which devices are using the streaming service, so they’ll be able to keep a better track on who is paying for what.
Their statement continued: "We've worked hard to build additional features that improve the Netflix experience, including the ability for members to review which devices are using their account and to transfer a profile to a new account.
"As we roll out paid sharing, members in many countries will also have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they don’t live with.”
Of course, Netflix are expecting pushback, but reckon that the quality of their product will eventually pull people back around.
The report went on: "We believe the pattern will be similar to what we’ve seen in Latin America, with engagement growing over time as we continue to deliver a great slate of programming and borrowers sign-up for their own accounts."
If you don’t want a full subscription, you can buy an advert-supported plan that is cheaper than the whole commercial-free package. That plan comes in at just £4.99 per month, £2 per month cheaper than their standard Basics offering.
Netflix were approached for comment.