Netflix announced a new feature on Monday called Profile Transfer after months of testing in a few countries around the world. The feature allows users to move their “personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List, saved games, and other settings” to a new account, according to the company’s press release.
There are two reasons this feature exists, only one of which Netflix would probably like you to think about. The first is users who share an account with a roommate, a partner, or their parents, and then eventually, you part ways, but you’re still stuck awkwardly staring at their name every time you log in. Do you quietly change your password and lock them out? Do you call them and tell them to get their own account? Netflix wants to ease that transition so newly solo users aren’t starting from scratch.
The second reason is that Netflix is doing its very best to make sure a lot of people are soon required to get their own Netflix account. Cracking down on password sharing is one of the company’s primary directives going forward as it looks for more ways to increase subscribers — Netflix has estimated that more than 100 million households are accessing the service through shared accounts.
Netflix has estimated that more than 100 million households are accessing the service through shared accounts
In both cases, Profile Transfer guides you through the process of starting a new Netflix account from an existing profile. The setup flow is full of upbeat guidance about how you can now “own your account and keep everything you love about this profile” and leaves a backup copy of the profile in the existing account. (There’s plenty of opportunity for passive-aggressively starting this process for the person you’d like off your account, just saying.)
Profile Transfer has been in testing since March in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. Now it’s rolling out more broadly. It’s just one of Netflix’s many moves in figuring out how to make more money from the password sharers, too. The company is testing ways to “add an extra home” to your account, to charge you a few extra bucks a month for an extra user on your account, to use verification codes to see who belongs on an account and who doesn’t, and more.
One way or another, if you’re a hanger-on in someone else’s Netflix account, the company is coming for you. But at least the app won’t forget how much you loved Is It Cake? anymore.