Is It Cheaper to Continue Being a Netflix Leech or Should I Get My Own Account?

Is It Cheaper to Continue Being a Netflix Leech or Should I Get My Own Account?
Contributor: Lauren Rouse and Stephanie Nuzzo

The days of leeching off your family’s Netflix account have come to an end. The streamer has been threatening to end password sharing for years now, but it has now made good on that threat.

When did password sharing on Netflix end in Australia?

Since Netflix reported its first loss in subscribers last year, the streamer has been doing all sorts of things to push new revenue, including launching a new ad-supported subscription tier.

In its January earnings report, Netflix confirmed it plans to roll out paid sharing widely in Q1 of 2023.

Then on February 9, it confirmed that paid password sharing was rolling out to additional countries, including Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. In a tweet at the time, Netflix confirmed these measures would be rolled out to Australia in the coming months.

As of May 24, 2023 – this Netflix password crackdown officially became a reality in Australia.

Looks like Netflix really is sick of the old ten-people-sharing-one-account trick. On the plus side, you can now kick all the leeches off your account. Withholding a Netflix password is a God-like power, after all.

What can Netflix users expect?

Well, as the ABC reported, the streaming service began by emailing account holders about “sharing between households”. The letter stated that “your account is for you and the people you live with – your household”.

It nudged users to check who is using the account and suggests they sign out of devices that “shouldn’t have access” and change their password. When it comes to usage from people outside of your household, it offers two options: transfer your profile to a new account or sign up an additional user for $7.99.

Read the letter in full below.

netflix password shaing
Via ABC/Netflix email. Netflix password sharing Australia.

How will it work?

Netflix password sharing
Netflix screenshot Twitter. Netflix password sharing Australia.

Essentially, what Netflix wants to do is end account sharing – that is, multiple users from different households signing into an account with the same password. The company estimates over 100 million households share passwords which, in its eyes, is a lot of potential subscribers who could be using their own accounts.

The streamer plans to replace this with ‘paid sharing’, which allows account holders to pay extra ($7.99 per user) and essentially buy an extra member, which will allow others to use the account outside the same household.

In a blog post, Netflix outlined how this works. Users will have to set a primary location, which will be considered the new main account. Presumably, this is determined by IP address.

From there, if you want to add extra members to your account, you’ll have to pay for it (despite Netflix already being one of the most expensive streaming services around.) You’ll need to select to add an extra member in your account settings. After that, your chosen member will receive an invite to set up their new login details and transfer their profile.

Netflix has said it will still allow users to stream on their accounts while they travel.

For those who decide to sign up for their own account, Netflix will offer an easy transfer profile system so you can keep your personalised recommendations and watch history.

How much does it cost to share your password?

Netflix subscribers have the option to add an extra member account to their own Standard or Premium plan (Basic or Basic with ads are not eligible). You can add accounts for up to two people you don’t live with – which will give them a profile, their own login and password.

The added cost of one extra member would take the price of a Standard subscription up to $24.98 a month or a Premium subscription to $30.98 a month. To add two extra members on a Premium account you’re looking at $38.97.

netflix password plans
Netflix password sharing Australia. Image: Netflix

That’s a pretty steep increase, so is paying to share your password actually the best deal? Let’s do the math.

Netflix’s current Australian subscription tiers cost as follows:

  • Basic with ads – $6.99
  • Basic – $10.99
  • Standard – $16.99
  • Standard + 1 extra member – $24.98
  • Premium – $22.99
  • Premium + 1 extra member – $30.98
  • Premium + 2 extra members – $38.97

Adding an extra member to a Standard account and splitting that by two means each member is paying $12.49. Splitting a Premium account + 1 extra by two means you’ll each pay $15.49, and splitting a Premium account with two extras between three people is $12.99 each.

Signing yourself and your leeches up for your own individual Basic with ads package is going to be the cheapest option, but you’ll need to put up with ads and deal with no offline downloads or simultaneous streams.

If you want to stream in 1080p HD or 4K and you want the option of downloading content to devices to watch offline, you’ll need to fork out for either the Standard or Premium packages.

To do that, it’s going to be cheaper to split the cost of a subscription with your paid extra member(s) than it is to sign up individually.

So, if you’re purely out for the cheapest option, going with Netflix’s ad-tiered plan is the best one for you – or you could nudge it up to the Basic plan at $10.99. But if you’d like a bit more value for your money with extra features, it’s cheaper to split a subscription with extra members.

Consider this your warning to sort out your account access. Or perhaps it’s time to look at a different streaming service?

This article has been updated since its original publish date. 

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