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Netflix is about to mess with (almost) everyone’s account access, billing

These are the changes coming to your Netflix account

The streaming wars have taken another casualty—your bank account. During a quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, October 18, Netflix announced that it would be cracking down on password sharers. Starting sometime next year, the service will charge an extra fee for password sharing. Keep reading to learn more about this Netflix account policy change and what it means for all of the password thieves out there.

Netflix logo on tv with red back lighting
Thibault Penin / Unsplash

Netflix is cracking down on password sharing

In an effort to reduce the number of freeloading viewers (and increase their profits), Netflix is planning a new policy for shared accounts. In early 2023, the streaming platform will begin charging accounts for password sharing. The new system will tack on fees for “extra member” subaccounts if someone outside of the household uses the account.

The company has yet to announce how it’ll enforce its new password-sharing rule. After the mass exodus of Netflix viewers, the platform began experimenting with ways to “monetize account sharing.” Their new password-sharing fee structure appears to be based on a model they’ve been testing in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru for six months. Additionally, Netflix is planning to launch less expensive, ad-supported subscriptions next month.

How much will sharing accounts cost?

The company didn’t specify how much the new password-sharing Netflix price would be when it announced the new plan. In the test program the platform rolled out earlier this year, the fee for each extra user was about one-quarter the price of their Standard plan. If Netflix chooses to continue with this fee structure in the US, each extra member subaccount would cost between $3.50 and $4.

Additionally, if the program continues to follow the lead of its test program, “extra member” fees will likely only be available on Netflix plans that allow more than one simultaneous stream. So, only Netflix’s Standard ($11.50 per month) and Premium ($20 per month) plans may be impacted by the change.

The streaming service didn’t offer the option for an “extra member” fee on its $10-a-month Basic plans. This plan and the new $7 per month Basic with Ads plan limit use to one single stream at a time. This feature already makes sharing an account difficult, so they may not view the extra fees as necessary.

man and woman watching Netflix
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Saying goodbye to your friend’s (or ex’s) account

If you’re sharing a friend’s account—or secretly using an ex’s—there’s no reason to panic. Netflix has unveiled a new feature that makes it easy to transfer your profile to a new account (as long as the account owner has completed the steps to turn on profile transfers). This way, you can keep your watch history and recommendations so at the very least you don’t lose your place in your latest Seinfeld rewatch.

The profile-transfer feature allows profiles created on shared Netflix accounts to transfer their data to an independent account. Then, this new account can sign up for its own membership or be added as an extra member to someone else’s Standard or Premium subscription. Soon, you too can be the proud owner of your very own Netflix account!

There’s still a lot that’s unknown about Netflix’s new password-sharing fees. How will they enforce the new rule? Will people actually pay that extra cost or will they just cancel their subscriptions instead? Only time will tell. But it appears that all of the account hijackers and password thieves are safe—for now.

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Shannon Cooper
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