The days of mooching Netflix from … anyone… is likely, actually, coming to an end. And soon.
Over the next few weeks, Netflix plans to test two new features aimed at curbing excessive password sharing. The company posted on its site that it will test “Add an Extra Member” as well as “Transfer Profile to a New Account.” Both options will begin testing in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.
“Add an Extra Member” will allow both Standard and Premium plan subscribers to add subscribers to their account – to up to two people who do not live with them – for a cost.
These sub-subscribers (is that a word?) will have their own profile, login, and password, while the “main account” will be charged an extra 2,380 CLP in Chile, $2.99 in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru. Those charges will be in addition to the cost of their Standard or Premium subscription.
The “Transfer Profile to a New Account” option will allow Basic, Standard, and Premium subscribers who share their account to transfer their profile information to a whole new account or an ‘Extra Member’ sub-account.
So, for example, if you started watching Ozark on a ‘borrowed’ profile that was connected to a subscriber but now plan to become a subscriber yourself, you can do that and continue watching Ozark from the point you left off at. Which is pretty cool.
According to Variety, Netflix had 221.8 million paying subscribers at the end of 2021, with 75.2 million of them living in the U.S. and Canada. It is not clear when Netflix is looking to expand the newest features beyond Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru, but we can all bet that if these measures succeed, it will.
Netflix has previously tested ways to prevent password sharing in the past, it has kind of made it easier to distribute passwords to friends with features like separate profiles and multiple streams for Standard and Premium plan subscribers.
“While these (new rules) 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,” Chengyi Long, Netflix’s Director of Product Innovation, said in a statement. “So for the last year we’ve been working on ways to enable members who share outside their household to do so easily and securely, while also paying a bit more.”
The next problem that Netflix will need to address is its increase in original programming expenses without an increase in subscriber base.