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Netflix is testing profile transfers to new accounts

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The transfer saves recommendations, watch history, and My List

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is testing a feature that will make it possible to transfer a specific profile to an entirely new account, potentially as a way to encourage streaming freeloaders to sign up for their own subscriptions, as first reported by Variety. As described in a post on Netflix’s site, this feature — and another that enables you to add sub-accounts for people you don’t live with — is currently being tested in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.

Netflix notes that users can transfer profiles to new accounts, or the sub-accounts that subscribers will have to pay an additional fee for. This lets users retain their viewing history, My List, and recommendations when they complete the transfer to a new account. Netflix first rolled out user profiles in 2013, which serve as a way to split up watch histories among friends and family members using a single account.

Last year, Netflix rolled out a test as an attempt to cut down on password sharing, which required users to verify account ownership in order to gain access to their accounts. This new test seems to be a way for Netflix to nudge moochers into buying their own subscriptions — or at least for account owners to pay up for anyone using the service outside their households.

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