Netflix is expanding its draconian crusade against password sharing
The streaming giant has a new idea for people who want to share accounts: Buy more homes.
People use a lot of different love languages. There’s quality time, physical touch, gift-giving. For me though, sharing streaming accounts is how I really know people care. If you’ve got my Netflix password then I love you for real. But now, Netflix is testing a new feature in South America to charge people for sharing accounts. It’s all part of the corporation’s attempts to crack down on password sharing.
You might remember when Netflix launched an “add an extra member” feature in March in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. On Monday, Netflix expanded its anti-sharing crackdown with an “add a home” feature in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
The feature, which is scheduled to launch on Aug. 22, basically works as it sounds. Your Netflix account comes with one home where you can access the platform on any device. But if you want to let someone use your Netflix in another home, you gotta pay an extra 219 pesos per month per home in Argentina ($1.17), and $2.99 everywhere else.
Those with a Basic Netflix plan are able to add one extra home. Standard accounts can add up to two extra homes, while Premium accounts can add up to three.
You might be wondering how this feature impacts people’s ability to use Netflix on the go. Plenty of us like to stream while traveling, for example. But Netflix says not to worry. According to TechCrunch, Netflix previously stated that its features don’t rely on location-based data. Instead, it’s using IP address, device IDs, and other information about devices across households. From there, Netflix can figure out if there’s any password sharing going on. So if you’re using the same device in a new location, you should be all right.
The company’s crackdown on password sharing comes after reports of Netflix losing subscribers for the first time in a decade. Per The New York Times, Netflix had a net loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter. The news caused Netflix’s stock to plummet. In response, Netflix laid off over 150 employees and announced plans to limit its movie productions.
“It’s great that our members love Netflix movies and TV shows so much they want to share them more broadly,” Netflix’s director of product innovation, Chengyi Long, wrote in the company’s announcement. “But today’s widespread account sharing between households undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve our service.”