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Netflix to Test $2.99 Fee for Sharing Accounts with Outside Users

The streamer is rolling out a password-sharing prompt for subscribers in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru to pay an additional fee for users outside of their households.

In this photo illustration, the Netflix logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen. (Photo by Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Netflix logo

Sipa USA via AP

Netflix is officially launching a test for subscribers to pay for shared accounts, starting with users in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.

Variety has reported that the streaming giant is rolling out an option for members to share accounts with people outside of their primary household, for a fee. Chengyi Long, director of product innovation at Netflix, described the new feature as a way to “easily and securely” share accounts “while also paying a bit more.” Variety cited that the new subscription options will roll out in the next few weeks and may or may not expand outside of those markets.

“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans,” Long wrote in a blog post about the test. “While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared. As a result, accounts are being shared between households — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”

Long added, “We’ll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world.”

The official Netflix terms of service state that a customer’s account “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” The streaming platform previously issued a limited test last year to prompt users to enter their credentials as a way to curb password sharing.

The new “add an extra member” feature in the upcoming rollout offers members with Netflix’s Standard and Premium plans an option to add subsidiary accounts for up to two people they don’t live with — each with their own profile, personalized recommendations, login, and password for a lesser fee than opening a separate, new Netflix account. The cost for adding a sub-member is 2380 CLP in Chile, $2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru.

Additionally, Netflix is testing the ability to let subscribers transfer user profiles to new accounts. Members in the selected three test countries can allow people who share their account to transfer profile information either to a new account or an Extra Member sub-account — keeping the viewing history, My List, and personalized recommendations. And an extra verification step is another added security layer: Variety reported that a Netflix subscriber may be prompted to verify their account only if a device outside of their household logs in to the account, with Netflix asking the user to verify the login from the device by sending a verification code.

Netflix has 221.8 million paying subscribers worldwide, as of the end of 2021. Approximately 75.2 million subscribers (34 percent of the total) were in the U.S. and Canada.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that “password sharing is something you have to learn to live with because there’s so much legitimate password sharing — like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids…so there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”

Now, it seems that that line is becoming a little bit clearer.

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