Netflix confirms plans to start charging users who share passwords

Your days of watching Netflix off a friend’s sister’s account might be numbered as the streaming giant plans to address the problem of password sharing.

Still reeling from a record loss in subscribers, it looks like Netflix might finally make people pay for sharing their password.

Netflix is currently testing payment plans to curb password sharing in Latin America which could be rolled out to other countries eventually.

Since last month, Netflix has been charging users in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru about £1.53-£2.30 a month each, to add up to two extra member accounts on top of their regular fee. Essentially, making people pay for sharing their passwords.

The streaming giant estimates more than 100 million households are sharing passwords.

The seemingly harmless practice that’s become the norm in most households is costing the company millions in revenue.

‘When we were growing fast, it wasn’t a high priority to work on. And now we’re working super hard on it,’ Reed Hastings said in during Netflix’s investor call.

Hastings had previously described the practice as ‘something you have to learn to live with’, adding that much of it is ‘legitimate’ between family members.

The company also admitted that account sharing had probably played a part in its growth by getting more people on Netflix in the first place.

Netflix suggested that it could take a year to reach a final decision about charging people extra for sharing passwords.

The company said it lost 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter, short of its forecast of adding 2.5 million subscribers. Suspending service in Russia after the Ukraine invasion has also cost Netflix 700,000 members.

The loss in subscribers could be due to the end of the pandemic-fuelled streaming boom as households axed video subscriptions in record numbers at the start of the year.

To add to this, the rise in living costs has prompted more than 1.5 million British households to cancel accounts on streaming services during the first three months citing ‘money saving’.

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