Netflix Tests Charging a Fee for People Who Share an Account

For those who share your Netflix password with every single friend of yours, take note.

In a few weeks from now, the US-based streaming service will start offering “sub-accounts” for lower prices of around US$2 to US$3 (approximately S$2.71 to S$4.07) per month. This option will allow users to add up to two other people to utilise a subscriber’s account.

According to Netflix product innovation director Chengyi Long, this option will be offered in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru for starters.

Ms Long also said that Netflix will test the new scheme out in these three countries before making changes anywhere else.

Ok, I guess all we can do is pray that it doesn’t come to Singapore soon…

The company also confirmed that it will allow users who are already sharing accounts to transfer information from their profile and viewing history to their new sub-accounts.

Reason Behind Implementing Sub-Accounts

Although Netflix has generally been quite lenient regarding the sharing of passwords between users, a stock dive on quarterly results suggested a decrease in subscriber growth, which was possibly what made them rethink their decision.

Additionally, there has been an increase in competition in the streaming television market, mostly due to the fact that other platforms such as Disney+ have gained much popularity in recent months.

“We recognise that people have many entertainment choices, so we want to ensure any new features are flexible and useful for members, whose subscriptions fund all our great TV and films,” Ms Long mentioned in a blog post.

Apart from that, it has also become more expensive for show streaming services to produce original shows, which has also contributed to the necessary increase in price.

The Silicon Valley streaming titan has been working on ways for subscribers to share “outside their household… while also paying a bit more,” she explained.

Apart from the implementation of sub-accounts, Netflix also disclosed that they would be raising the price of subscriptions within the United States. The prices have since been increased to US$9.99 (approximately S$13.55) for the basic plan, US$15.99 (approximately S$21.68) for the basic plan, while the premium plan costs US$19.99 (approximately S$27.11).

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At the end of last year, Netflix had 221.8 million subscribers, falling just below their target after a sharp increase of subscribers due to the COVID-19 lockdowns across the world.

The company also mentioned that out of the increase in 8.3 million subscriptions at the end of 2021, most of them came from users located outside North America.

According to the most recent Netflix earnings report, Netflix is only expected to see a rise in 2.5 million subscribers for the first quarter of 2022.

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Featured Image: Netflix