Netflix to Charge Users Who Share Passwords
In an attempt to crack down on rampant password sharing, Netflix has unveiled plans for a new subscription strategy that allows additional members to be added to existing primary plans.
It comes with a cost, however, and current Netflix subscribers are not happy about it.
"For the last year, we've been working on ways to enable members who share outside their household to do so easily and securely, while also paying a bit more," Chengyi Long, Netflix's director of product innovation, said in a statement.
Netflix says they won't ban password sharing altogether, but customers in three countries — Chile, Peru and Costa Rica — will see a spike in cost over the next few weeks as they test the pilot program.
The proposed system will allow Standard and Premium plan holders "to add sub-accounts for up to two people they don't live with — each with their own profile, personalized recommendations, login, and password," according to Netflix.
The bottom line is that subscribers will be hit with an additional cost of 2,380 CLP in Chile (roughly $3 USD), $2.99 in Costa Rica and 7.9 PEN in Peru (roughly $2 USD).
A second feature that Netflix has added to the pilot program will permit subscribers to transfer user profiles to new accounts. Their hope is that users who stream for free under other users' pre-existing accounts will be strong-armed into paying for their own subscription.
Many Netflix customers already feel nickel-and-dimed by Netflix. This latest update has them fuming.
"Netflix will lose a lot of customers if they do this password-sharing crackdown they plan to do," one displeased customer wrote on Twitter. "Charging extra and crap. Especially when they don't carry a lot of good content anymore like some of the other streaming apps."
Another deemed the measure unfair and feels it penalizes families who don't live in the same household.
"How do you expect families to handle password sharing in the case of divorces, their children, or college students away from home?" they tweeted. "We already pay a lot for it. Now you're just milking us for every dollar spent."
Fortunately, Long said that Netflix will be "working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world."