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Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown hits Canada, but not the US — yet

Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown hits Canada, but not the US — yet


Users can pay extra to add up to two people they don’t live with.

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An illustration of the Netflix logo.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is expanding its paid password sharing to subscribers in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain starting Wednesday, the company announced in a blog post. The company had already started testing the change — in a few different forms — in some countries in Latin America. Now, Netflix is expanding its efforts ahead of a broader rollout in “the coming months.”

Last week, Netflix faced pushback after notes about when and how it might block devices used beyond your household popped up on support pages for the US and other countries where the new “paid sharing” setup hasn’t rolled out yet.

Netflix said that was inadvertent, and now none of the support pages have any details about restrictions on streaming to devices that aren’t on your home network. No matter what country you select, it only says, “A Netflix account is meant to be shared in one household (people who live in the same location as the account owner). People who are not in your household will need to sign up for their own account to watch Netflix.”

The company says that users in the newly added countries will be able to pay more if they want to add access for people they don’t live with. The fee is $7.99 Canadian and New Zealand dollars (around $5.94 or $5.04 USD, respectively), €3.99 in Portugal, or €5.99 in Spain (about $4.28 and $6.43 USD, respectively). The number of people you can add depends on your plan and what country you live in. It’s not an option for the basic and basic with ads tiers, while the standard plan lets you add one outside user, and the premium plan lets you add two. If you want to move your profile from a friend’s account to your own, you can transfer your Netflix profile.

Chart showing the features and extra member purchase eligibility of different Netflix plans.
Netflix specifically says that not every country’s users will be able to purchase extra memberships for their accounts.
Image: Netflix

The idea behind Netflix’s new sharing system is that the account holder will set a “primary location” and that people who live there can use the account. People who don’t, however, will either have to get their own accounts or be added as additional users if the plan supports it. The company does say that “Members can still easily watch Netflix on their personal devices or log into a new TV, like at a hotel or holiday rental,” but Wednesday’s announcement doesn’t add much information about how that will work.

Netflix has been inching toward the broader rollout of its password-sharing crackdown over the past several months as it looks to find new ways to boost its subscriber counts with different tests. One test let people pay for sub-accounts, while another let people pay extra for different homes associated with their account.

Correction February 8th, 3:30PM ET: We mistakenly wrote that the fee for subscribers in New Zealand would be in Australian dollars. We regret the error.