Use a friend’s Netflix account? Have a Netflix account shared between your close family members even though you don’t live in the same home? Well, I have some bad news for you. Netflix doesn’t want you to do this anymore without forking out the cash.
Yep. Netflix is cracking down on multi-household account sharing through a new feature it’s trialling.
The streaming giant, which recently hiked its prices, is introducing a new feature that expects you to pay for the ability to share your Netflix account. Not a huge price increase, mind you, but a price increase nonetheless.
“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans,” a Netflix blog post reads.
“While these 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.”
Before we start to worry, just know that it might be some time before Australian users have to start paying for their freeloading family members and friends.
Netflix users in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru will be the first users to experience Netflix’s new anti-account sharing feature, as a contained test.
The test brings in two new features: the ability to add an extra member and the ability to transfer a profile to a new account.
The extra member feature allows for sub-accounts to be added, specifically for people they don’t live with. Being a sub-account gives you access to your own profile, personalised recommendations, login and password. This is available at a lower monthly price than a solo Netflix account, costing 2,380 CLP (Chile), $US2.99 in Costa Rica and 7.9 PEN in Peru. Those prices translate to about $4.10 in Australia.
The other feature allows members to transfer profile information to a new account or a sub-account, keeping history, My List and recommendations all the same.
In the three countries accessing the trial, users that are sharing their accounts outside of their household will be notified by email and on Netflix over the coming weeks that these extra features are coming.
Currently, Netflix uses prompts (like phone and email verification) to crack down on account sharing when an account is accessed outside of a household or persistently accessed from a location outside of the household, but obviously, this isn’t a foolproof solution. Netflix could start geoblocking people that are far from their home address (similar to how it geoblocks users accessing the service from another country) but you know what assuming does…
The second feature, however, might actually end up saving some people money. If your family members all use separate Netflix accounts, for example, you could consolidate them all under one master account and end up saving money.
Netflix couldn’t tell G/O Australia when this feature might arrive down under.