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Netflix tests way for password sharers to go legit – and it might work

Netflix is gearing up its efforts to stamp out password sharing, by testing a fee for ‘sub-members’ in some Latin American countries.

In Chile, Costa Rica and Peru Netflix is allowing users to share their account outside of their household, for a few bucks on top of the regular monthly subscription fee.

The company says that while adding profiles and concurrent streams on its Standard and Premium plans has given people in the same household the chance to watch different content, it has led to a misperception that accounts can be shared with people outside of the home.

That “confusion” (not sure how confused people are about it, to be honest, lads), Netflix says, has led to “accounts are being shared between households – impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”

Netflix says that over the last year, it has been seeking to enable multi-household account sharing, but with a way to compensate the company for the privilege. In Costa Rica for example, up to two extra profiles can now be added to an account for $2.99 USD each.

“Members on our Standard and Premium plans will be able to add sub accounts for up to two people they don’t live with – each with their own profile, personalised recommendations, login and password – at a lower price,” the company says in a blog post.

The company says it will be study the results of the trial before deciding whether to bring in similar changes in other territories. The company didn’t mention whether it plans to start taking action against those deciding against the changes.

Trusted Take

It appears Netflix is hedging bets that users will buddy-up and pay the extra few quid for the convenience of their own login and the additional safety of their account being on the up-and-up. Parents who’s kids use the family Netflix account might take up this option.

It would allow people who use another account holder’s password to keep their profile and all of their recommendations established through years of watching. Effectively, the changes could also give people with individual accounts the chance to join forces and game the system somewhat.

Given the company just irked UK users by raising the prices again, many subscribers will be looking for a way to claw back that extra expenditure.

It appears the company is hedging bets that users will buddy-up and pay the extra few quid for the convenience of their own login and the additional safety of their account being on the up-and-up. Effectively, the changes could give people with individual accounts the chance to join forces and game the system somewhat too.

Given the company just irked UK users by raising the prices again, many subscribers will be looking for a way to claw back that extra expenditure.

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