If you share your Netflix password with friends and relatives who don’t live with you – get ready to pay an extra fee for that, starting in early 2023.
Netflix made the announcement in its quarterly earnings call this week, saying they’ve “landed on a thoughtful approach to monetising account sharing”.
After a testing period in several countries, Netflix is almost ready for the wider release of their “Extra Members” scheme, which will make people who share accounts pay for each additional member outside of their household.
The announcement came shortly after the launch of Netflix’s new Basic-with-Ads tier, which is a cheaper (£4.99/m in the UK) Netflix plan that includes adverts.
Furthermore, to help users who will find themselves without a Netflix account once a password is no longer shared with them, Netflix launched a new “Profile Transfer” feature this week, which lets people transfer their Netflix profile – with its personalized recommendations, viewing history and watchlist – to a new paid account.
Sharing your Netflix password is often mentioned in money-saving guides as a way to share the cost of the popular American streaming subscription – either with family members who don’t necessarily live with you, or even among groups of friends.
However, password sharing (with people who don’t live with you) is against Netflix’s terms of service. For a long time, the company turned a blind eye to account sharing – but that’s about to change.
Currently, if you are subscribed to Netflix’s “Standard Plan” (£10.99/month following the price increase last March), you can stream content on up to two devices at the same time. The Premium Plan (£15.99/m) lets you stream on up to four devices.
This means that up to four individuals, who can be in different homes or even in different countries, can watch Netflix at the same time, under the same account. Of course, this also means Netflix gets just one paying subscriber instead of four.
The upcoming Extra Member feature lets subscribers add paid sub-accounts for people they don’t live with, each with their own profile, personalized recommendations, login and password.
Standard Plan subscribers can add one extra member, and Premium subscribers can currently add up to 2 extra members.
The cost of adding those extra members will be lower than Netflix’s standard prices. During the trial, each extra member cost roughly a quarter of Netflix’s regular price in that country – which would translate to around £3 per Extra Member in the UK (though pricing can of course change by the time the scheme launches here).
So, if you currently share your Netflix account and password with two friends or family members that don’t live with you, and they have their own Netflix profiles on your account – you’ll have to pay around £6/month for those two extra members (on top of your subscription).
It’s worth mentioning that in July, Netflix started testing a different model in a few other countries, where account holders had one main ‘Home’, and if someone started watching Netflix in another home – for more than two weeks – then a new full “Home” had to be added to the account.
It appears, however, that Netflix is leaning towards the first model – the one where Extra Members are counted instead of additional “homes”.
As part of the Extra Members trial, those extra paid members could enjoy many of the same Netflix benefits that primary account holders enjoy:
- Unlimited access to Netflix’s content
- The ability to watch on any device that has a Netflix app (TV, streaming sticks, smartphones, etc.) – but only on one device at a time (so extra members can’t share their account with extra-extra members…)
- The same video quality as the paying, primary member (so HD on the Standard plan and 4K on the Premium Plan)
- Extra members can download content for offline viewing – but only on one smartphone/tablet at a time
- Extra members can only have one profile (so they can’t let other family members create more profiles on their sub-account)
Extra Members will get their own accounts and passwords – so the paying, primary account holder will no longer need to share his password with the sub-accounts he’s paying for.
Once Netflix’s Extra Members scheme expands in early 2023, it’s possible some of these limitations will change, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Also, at this point, it’s not entirely clear how Netflix will know you’re sharing your password (and not travelling abroad and watching far away from your other family members, for example) – after all, Netflix still wants you to be able to travel and watch when you’re away from home.
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