clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Netflix testing fee to deter sharing accounts outside your household

The feature is being tested in Peru, Costa Rica, and Chile

Illustration for Netflix in pink and magenta colors Illustration: Ollie Hoff for Polygon
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Netflix is testing a new feature that would crack down on the common practice of sharing passwords outside your household, the company announced Wednesday.

While the Netflix terms of service say that an account “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household,” the company doesn’t currently enforce the policy. That’s changing with the introduction of an upcharge for sub-accounts — a test that the company is beginning in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.

“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,” said Chengyi Long, director of product innovation, in a post on the company blog. “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 described two new features meant to address this problem: the ability to pay for sub-accounts, and the option to turn an existing user profile into its own account or sub-account.

Add an Extra Member: Members on our Standard and Premium plans will be able to add sub accounts for up to two people they don’t live with - each with their own profile, personalized recommendations, login and password - at a lower price: 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru;

Transfer Profile to a New Account: Members on our Basic, Standard, and Premium plans can enable 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.

This option will roll out over the next few weeks in the three test countries. It’s currently unclear whether Netflix intends to expand these features beyond Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru. Users in those countries who currently share their profile outside of the household will be notified, and may need to verify their account to log in.

“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,” wrote Long.

Wednesday’s announcement comes on the heels of Netflix raising the price of a subscription in North America earlier this year, making all plans cost $1 to $2 more.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.