Netflix Seeks to Charge for Password Sharing

Netflix is testing an initiative to make users pay for sharing their accounts with friends.

Netflix is testing an initiative to make users pay for sharing their accounts with friends.

A major point that makes Netflix so popular as a streaming subscription is how easy it is to share one’s Netflix account and password with others. Many of Netflix’s 222 million subscribers regularly share their login credentials with family members and friends, often collectively paying for the subscription as a means of keeping the cost of the service down. For the most part, Netflix has been content to let this go, but it seems that may end in the near future.

Netflix is rolling out an experimental initiative to Chile, Costa Rica and Peru that would prohibit excessive password sharing, instead requiring users to pay an additional fee in order to add more user profiles to their account. Alternatively, an existing profile can be transferred to a new Netflix account to start separate service.

“We recognize that people have many entertainment choices, so we want to ensure any new features are flexible and useful for members, whose subscriptions fund all our great TV and films,” Netflix said in a statement. “We’ll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world.”

The immediate response to this announcement has been overwhelmingly negative, with many noting that barring them from Netflix access would not encourage them to get their own accounts. Families have also expressed concern that this would prevent them from sharing their service with other immediate family members that don’t live in the same home as them. As of writing, Netflix has not responded to these concerns.

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