Netflix Is Testing A Freeloader Tax To Profit Off Your Generous Password Sharing

woman watching movie
Sharing your Netflix password with your friends and loved ones, or taking advantage of someone else’s account, has become something of a meme. It is technically against Netflix’s terms of service to share your account with those outside of your household, but that has not stopped anyone. Nevertheless, Netflix is attempting to squash free account sharing. Netflix is experimenting with “Extra Sub” accounts that charge subscribers a fee for sharing their passwords with those outside their household.

Netflix subscribers on the Standard or Premium plans will be able to add up to two people with whom they do not share a household onto their plan for an additional price. These “Extra Member” sub accounts will have their own profile, personalized recommendations, and login/password. Current Netflix subscribers on the Basic, Standard, or Premium plans can enable those who share their account to either transfer their profile information to an entirely new account or an Extra Member sub account. The member will not lose their viewing history, My List, or personalized recommendations.

netflix account sharing
It is important to note that Netflix is currently only testing this feature out in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. The “Extra Member” sub accounts will cost 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru. Netflix noted that it will “be working to understand the utility of these two features” before implementing them elsewhere.

Why is Netflix cracking down on account sharing? According to Netflix, account sharing outside of one’s household, “[impacts] our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.” Account sharing ultimately means less money in Netflix’s pocket and therefore less money to create content.

Regardless of its reasoning, this experimentation is unlikely to go over well with customers. Netflix raised its prices in the United States and Canada earlier this year and recently announced that prices will soon increase in the United Kingdom as well. A Basic Netflix plan previously ran $8.99 USD in the United States and now costs $9.99. A Standard Netflix plan now rings in at $15.49 while a Premium plan will cost subscribers nearly $20. We do not currently know how these price increases have impacted subscription numbers, but subscribers have been openly displeased with the change.Customers are unlikely to welcome the "Extra Member" sub account feature with open arms. 

Second image courtesy of Netflix