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Netflix is testing ways to end password sharing and push viewers to pay extra

Netflix is testing ways to end password sharing and push viewers to pay extra


Netflix is not only getting more expensive, it’s getting stingy

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Just a few weeks after announcing its latest price hike, Netflix announced it’s cracking down on the widespread practice of password sharing between people who don’t live in the same household by prompting them to pay an extra fee for the privilege.

In a blog post, Chengyi Long, director of product innovation, says, “While these [household plans] 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.”

During a test period, Netflix will try out its approach in three countries: Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. There, in addition to the ability to transfer viewing profiles into new accounts (either your own primary account or someone else's), subscribers will get prompts to add an extra viewer to their package at a discounted price: 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru.

This is not the first time Netflix has experimented with a clampdown on password sharing. Last year, the company experimented with an account verification tool to keep unauthorized users from mooching off of others’ accounts.

But the addition of “add an extra member” and “transfer profile” features indicate that Netflix is thinking strategically about how it can keep growing as the company’s subscriber numbers continue to plateau. If Netflix plans to hold the throne as streaming king, it needs to keep funding ever more expensive originals. That money’s got to come from somewhere; Long effectively said as much in Netflix’s announcement today.

Netflix price hikes

PriceOct 2023Jan 2022Oct 2020Jan 2019Oct 2017Oct 2015Apr 2014Apr 2013July 2011
Premium (4K, 4 screens)$22.99$19.99$17.99$15.99$13.99$11.99$11.99$11.99N/A
Standard (HD, 2 screens)$15.49$15.49$13.99$12.99$10.99$9.99$8.99$7.99$7.99
Basic (No HD, 1 screen)$11.99$9.99$8.99$8.99$7.99$7.99$7.99N/AN/A
Standard with ads (HD, 2 screens)$6.99

Unfortunately, we knew the great password crackdown was coming. Enjoy your parents’ or ex’s shared credentials while you can.

Disclosure: The Verge is currently producing a series with Netflix.