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It seems that the sun is setting on the era of sharing your Netflix password across households — with the streaming service testing a feature that will make you pay to share an account outside of your home.
But don’t panic just yet — the feature is still in its test phase and will be limited to certain territories for now.
Here’s what to know about the Netflix plan…
Netflix announces test for sub-accounts
While Netflix didn’t seem too concerned with people sharing accounts at its inception, in recent years it has hinted at plans to curb this behaviour.
“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans,” Netflix’s Chengyi Long said in a blog post on 16 March.
“While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared. As a result, accounts are being shared between households – impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”
Long noted that the company has been working on ways to make members pay an extra fee for sharing their account outside their home.
This feature is now being tested in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.
Over the next few weeks, the “Add an Extra Member” feature will launch in these countries.
This will create a “sub-account” account for up to two people. However, these extra accounts won’t cost the same as a full Netflix subscription.
They’ll cost 2,380 CLP in Chile, $2.99 in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru. For reference, a Basic Netflix subscription costs 5,940 CLP in Chile, $8.99 in Costa Rica, and
24.90 PEN in Peru.
You can also transfer the profile of users to a new account. This means information such as viewing history and saved list items can be transferred to a sub-account.
Will South Africa see the new Netflix feature?
Netflix notes that it will first test the feature in the initial three countries before launching them anywhere else.
Considering Netflix increased South African subscription prices in 2021, and the availability of several competitor streaming services, the company may hold off on introducing this for a while.
At the same time, there’s no guaranteeing that it won’t take the risk. Multichoice cracked down on password sharing on the DSTV app in February.
While the decision proved unpopular with social media users, it does set a precedent.
But Netflix will likely wait to see how the feature affects revenue before deciding if it should introduce it to more regions.
Feature image: Dima Solomin/Unsplash