Netflix Adds Fees for Password Sharing

Netflix with padlock | Image by rafapress/Shutterstock

Netflix announced Tuesday that it is moving forward with its paid-sharing program for U.S. subscribers that will charge an extra $7.99 for viewers living outside of the account holder’s household.

The statement posted on Netflix’s site on May 23 said that subscribers will be receiving an email alerting them to the change. Viewers not living with the account holder will have to get their own accounts and have their profiles transferred over or the account holder can add them for an additional monthly fee.

Paid sharing is meant to increase the streaming platform’s number of legitimate subscribers and curb the widespread practice of sharing account passwords.

Last year around 100 million people worldwide were estimated to be using someone else’s password in breach of Netflix’s user agreement.

As The Dallas Express reported, Netflix released a statement back in April saying that it was ready to roll out paid streaming in Q2 2023 across the U.S. after having tested it out in other countries like New Zealand, Canada, Spain, and Portugal.

The number of subscribers eventually did increase after the paid-sharing plan was introduced in these markets after initially dropping.

Account holders — of which there are an estimated 70 million in the U.S. — will have to set a primary location for their household. All viewers connecting to the account from that address will have access, whereas anyone connecting from beyond it will be blocked.

Few details were released as to how exactly IP addresses will be flagged for being outside of a given account holder’s household.

Adding an outside viewer is not possible for subscribers to Netflix’s standard plan with ads, which costs $6.99 a month, and the basic plan for $9.99 a month.

The option is only open to standard and premium plan holders, which are respectively priced at $15.49 and $19.99 a month. A maximum of two outside viewers can be added to each account.

Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters has previously acknowledged that users will not be happy about the paid-sharing program.

“This will not be a universally popular move,” Peters explained in a Q4 2022 earnings interview, according to Variety.

As The Dallas Express reported, most Americans are feeling financially stressed nowadays between rising unemployment, interest rate increases, persistent inflation, and an impending recession.

Moreover, a recent CNBC poll found that 53% of Americans have no emergency savings, and 58% are living paycheck to paycheck.

It is yet to be seen whether a bump — even as slight as $7.99 per month — in the cost of Netflix will be tolerated by consumers.

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