Netflix is likely cracking down on password sharing with new charges

In 2016, then-CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, said that it was OK to share Netflix passwords and that “it really hasn’t been a problem.” Fast forward to a new CEO, a pandemic and a whopping four price increases later and that has unsurprisingly not lasted. We heard last year that Netflix was instituting new measures to discourage account sharing, including verification. They’re now testing a new feature in selected markets that will allow add-on accounts in separate households, for an additional fee, without verification.

Netflix will begin testing a new, opt-in feature that will prompt subscribers to pay extra if sharing the service with people outside their own household. The feature will allow households to add up to two “sub accounts” for a fee that’s less than the cost of the full-priced Netflix service. The new option will initially be tested in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru and will roll out over the next few weeks to those markets. The company didn’t say if or when the feature would be rolled out to global subscribers.

At launch, Netflix’s Standard and Premium subscribers in the test markets will be offered the option to add sub accounts to their service for people they don’t live with. Each sub account will have its own profile and personalized recommendations, as usual. But what makes this feature different is that the sub accounts willl also have their own Netflix login and password. Plus, if they ever choose to set up their own Netflix service under their name and billing information, their viewing history, watch list (“My List”), and personalized recommendations will transfer over.

To make this feature work, Netflix isn’t relying on location-based data, like GPS. Instead, the company is leveraging the same information it uses to provide its service today to its end users, including an IP address, device IDs and other information about devices signed into the Netflix account across the household. Using this information, Netflix can identify when there’s persistent sharing taking place outside a household.

To enable the new sub accounts, the main account owner will receive an email with a code that they’ll need to use to verify the additional devices are a part of their household.

The cost for the extra non-household members in the test markets is 2,380 CLP in Chile, $2.99 USD in Costa Rica and 7.9 PEN in Peru. This is less expensive than a full Netflix account plan, but it’s also more than it previously cost to share someone’s Netflix account for free. Netflix notes the extra members won’t be paying for their account separately — the Netflix bill still goes to the main account holder. (If that person wants to charge their extra members for the new fees, that’s up to them to handle and collect.)

[From TechCrunch]

TechCrunch has a more about whether these separate households will be counted as subscribers (they won’t, for now) and about Netflix’s pressure to retain subscribers in the face of so much more competition. We just heard that Amazon acquired MGM for a jaw-dropping $8.5 billion, however unless they hire an entire new usability team to fix their sh-tty app, they’re not going to be able to compete with the other streamers. Netflix is easier to use and makes it easier to find content.

I’m OK with this additional fee, especially if it gets my brother off my account, but there are way too many streamers now. The way to stay competitive is not to increase costs and make it more difficult to use.

Also I just binged Bad Vegan! It was insane. We really need to educate people about coercive control and emotional abuse. I might cover it separately on Monday, let me know if you’d like me to.

Photos credit: Netflix

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55 Responses to “Netflix is likely cracking down on password sharing with new charges”

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  1. AlpineWitch says:

    I didn’t find the Netflix app user-friendly at all, on the tablet it’s the most awful one if compared with Prime or Disney+. This, on top of the fact you cannot pay for a year, grated on our nerves so much that we let them deactivate our account after only one month.

    However, what Netflix app has is a huge choice of languages in the subtitles section compared to the other 2.

    • This is pissing me off to end, they are ALL so money grubbing its’ just pathetic. So now my kid at college can’t share our netflix account and he has to get his own? Wtf, that is just dumb. It’s just like how amazon prime doesn’t recognize anything you bought on your computer on your tv screen, and makes you pay if you want to watch the same damn thing on on your tv. I live as a luddite and mostly read books and I’m glad, c’ause the entertainment business is just *blows raspberry*

  2. YaGotMe says:

    I would love to read your take on Bad Vegan

    I just cancelled Netflix, the last price increase was the last straw really — after all of these years, I actually went BACK to cable. Before you hand me a Werther’s hear me out — by the time I added up the streaming services, it was just as easy to go back to cable, I can have the same thing on in every room while I wander and do chores and with ‘on demand’ options, I have just as much content with one remote. I get the networks (hulu) I get Paramount, I get all of the C list twenty year old movies (netflix). And I can bundle it. I’m old.
    I kept Disney plus though.

    • LadyMTL says:

      This was exactly why I didn’t cancel my cable – when I added up the cost of all of the streaming services I would need to just keep the same channels / content I have now, I’d actually be paying more. I currently subscribe to Disney+ and Netflix, though considering Netflix just increased my monthly cost to $16.50CAD per month I think I’ll be dropping it sooner rather than later.

      I’ll take my Werther’s now, thanks. 😛

      • Haylie says:

        Pass the Werthers over here please. All these streaming services that are “cheaper than cable” are a scam.

      • Jordana says:

        When I heard about ths price in rease I downgraded Netflix to the 1-screen only, basics for $9.99/month. I have not noticed any difference in image quality at all. And usually we just need 1 screen playing Netflix at any time, so the switch was not even noticeable. Wish I had done it earlier

    • JerseyCow says:

      Me too on the Bad Vegan review please.

      Interesting take on returning to basic cable, Yagotme. Like you, I have tv on during chores and like old movies. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • superashes says:

      Yeah I’m with you. Honestly, netflix just serves as old cable for me these days. I’d rather just cancel it at this point than even spend more than five minutes on some administrative BS that it would require to navigate whatever this new chicanery is. Not even sure how this is supposed to work for traveling, I’m guessing you don’t get a discount on your service when you are out of town and you can’t use the service on a new device without a charge.

    • The Recluse says:

      For now, we have Netflix and Disney+ and Mom has access to Amazon via her Prime account, but as for our cable situation, we invested in some Samsung Internet ready TVs and use YouTube TV, which is cheaper than the only other options available here in rural New Mexico: TDS, Dish, and DirectTV. Mom loves Law and Order, so when she set it to DVR on YouTubeTV, she got every season that has ever aired. Blew our minds. They aren’t kidding when they talk about bottomless DVR.

    • dj says:

      We just went back to cable also! My husband cannot stand commercials. He refuses to watch the new 70 (ish)” TV I bought him to watch football unless he can DVR sports and fast forward during the commercials. I am currently teaching him about the new remote. I am keeping Netflix due to Bridgerton Season 2 starts in a week. Now I need to cancel all my other streaming except Amazon Prime. The streaming services are too many to keep track of and we now get most of the channels with cable. It’s not a bad deal considering. Just my two cents.

    • Eliza says:

      Before you hand me a werthers— 🤣🤣🤣

  3. Jan90067 says:

    While there are a few shows on Netflix that I do love (The Crown, Bridgerton, etc) it’s just not going to be worth it for MORE increases. My bill just increased another $2 this month. I will finish out The Crown, and then drop Netflix like a (greedy) hot potato.

    There is PLENTY of streaming content now. Netflix doesn’t corner the market any more.

    • SusieQ says:

      I’ve noticed that I really only watch three things on Netflix: The Crown, Bridgerton, and Schitt’s Creek. I have an impossible time finding things to watch on Netflix. I find the whole app disorganized, and I’m so tempted to cancel it. But I adore those three shows, so I think they’ve got me for the time being.

      I do get much more use out of Hulu, HBO Max, and Peacock.

      • Zantasia says:

        Curious—what do you get on Peacock that you don’t get on Hulu? Looking for a reason to get Peacock over here

      • TeamAwesome says:

        Peacock is the only place with Parks and Recreation, which is a bummer.

    • FeedMeChips says:

      For me, I love peacock because of all the WWE content. No shame in my game there. Then again, peacock is free for me as one of one of my credit card perks.

      • North of Boston says:

        Peacock is where I watched Girls5Eva, which was fun.
        They also have a pretty good back catalog of older tv shows, and stream episodes of new ones. It’s free through Comcast where I am at the moment.
        Downside of Peacock is they have one of the worst interfaces for finding stuff to watch or going back to a series if it fell off your recents lists.

    • L84Tea says:

      The Crown is the only thing keeping me on Netflix. But I’m with the other poster who said once the Crown is done, I’ll probably drop Netflix. I am one of the ones who cancelled our cable because it was costing a fortune to pay for both cable and streaming services, when we really were mostly streaming. So now we have Netflix, HBO Max (which is free for me thru my internet plan) Hulu, Disney+, Prime, AMC+ (which I will cancel when The Walking Dead ends this year), and Starz (which I will also cancel when Outlander is over this season). But the majority of what we watch is on HBO Max, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney. Netflix doesn’t really offer anything unique enough anymore to justify the continued price hikes.

  4. minimi says:

    We’re canceling our Netflix account. We only share it with the in-laws who watch one single series in there. I think making it more difficult to share is not appealing (I understand if they would give a limit but no sharing at all makes no sense for me). There are others in the competition that allow it without problems. We have other streamers but Netflix is one of the services we use the most. Still the consecutive price increase makes it unappealing and I can as well just try out something new.

    • Jan90067 says:

      They really are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. I mean, there are a LOT of families that share, at different addresses, like when their kids go to college. So Netflix will tack on an additional THREE DOLLARS PER KID for you to be able to watch as a family???

      Nope. A LOT of people will drop it. MUCH more streaming content out there now to choose from.

  5. KBeth says:

    I wouldn’t mind the price increase if it offered better content.
    Netflix is now priced higher than other streaming apps that have better selection.

    • Jamie says:

      My impression is that they are still riding on being the first/biggest name is streaming services and hoping people will be too lazy to cancel.

      I have not been using my TV at all over the last few months and although I want to cancel Netflix it feels more difficult because I’ve had it for so long, like a security blanket!

    • LWT says:


      Netflix has the highest price and they claim it’s worth it for the YEARS of content you could watch… but 99% of it is unwatchable.

    • Barb Mill says:

      I keep Netflix because I watch a lot of International series and they have tons of those.

  6. Becks1 says:

    We actually get Netflix through our cable provider, so we only pay a separate fee so we can get things in Ultra HD or whatever (I think its 3 dollars a month upcharge.)

    I don’t really blame netflix for this, as long as I can still watch my Netflix account from wherever I am without any issues. But it says “persistent sharing outside a household” so i don’t think its going to ding someone for watching netflix on vacation or whatever.

    I don’t like Amazon’s interface and I find Netflix’s interface hard to search sometimes. If I’m not watching something that’s on their top 10, its hard to find. I also hate HBO Max’s interface so I just get to it through my cable provider.

    I do like Disney Plus’ interface though.

  7. girl_ninja says:

    Please do cover this next week! I started watching yesterday after reading articles about Sarma Melngailis a couple of years back and was fascinated how Anthony Strangis was able to weave his way into her world. And her interaction with horrible Louis C. K. is fascinating too.

    Also, her vegan recipes look soooooo good! I wish I had the discipline it took to be a vegan.

    • Please says:

      Was under the impression the general public were more informed re coercive control? Evan Rachel Woods, India Oxenberg, The Wild Wild West re the raj neesh, bikram—so many are coming out after cultic abuses. Is the #IGO (I got out) picking up momentum?
      I thought so until reading tons of online responses…
      There’s a shocking amt of hate towards Sarma
      Just because she’s educated and rarely smiles in photos- seems now she receives bias because “she was too successful to get duped, surely she was in on it” etc

      IMO this shines a light on how predators go after the big vaults. Seasoned criminals don’t waste time on a small cash register- Sarma was tapped BECAUSE she’s a money machine.

  8. Pix says:

    I don’t watch enough Netflix to justify all the price increases. With inflation as it is they are being short-sighted. The only reason why I keep Netflix is because I can share passwords.

  9. Michael says:

    My Netflix is going up by $3.oo next month and it has nothing to do with sharing the app. Just a price increase. It is now the most expensive streaming service I use. It is still relatively cheap and I still will pay the increase without too much rancor. I set myself a budget of about $60.00 a month for streaming services and I will just start eliminating them as they increase prices.

  10. NickG says:

    Please do it Celebitchy! Sarma my it girl for a brief time in the 00’s and my dream was to go to their restaurant in NYC. What happened afterwards was totally shocking!
    PS her ice cream recipe is still my totally un-Vegan’s husband’s absolute favourite

  11. goofpuff says:

    Netflix has a great selection of international movies and shows. That’s the primary reason I keep it. The other networks are just too bland with their American only content.

    • michyk says:

      me too, goof, that’s why i keep it. amazon has some, but most of what i watch through there i can get through a britbox or acorn add on somewhere else. if i cancel anything at this point, it would be amazon.

    • Southern Fried says:

      International shows! Best selections from Netflix. Easiest format to navigate of all. Plus I missed a ton of tv when my kids were still at home so I’ve a lot of catching up to do and find myself on Netflix most. Love Hulu too and do not like Amazon. Apple is so crazy cheap we’re keeping it, only $5.59 per mo, offered when I got new iPhone. Since we don’t go out evenings like we used to…

    • NotSoSocialB says:

      We also keep it for the superior international content.

  12. BeanieBean says:

    Count me in on a discussion about Bad Vegan!

  13. Concern Fae says:

    I rotate through the services, usually with nothing during the summer. It gets dark so late here that I really don’t have time to watch a movie before bed.

    I found that I wasn’t watching when I had multiple services. When I know I’m only having Netflix for three months, I watch my high priority material.

    The other issue is that I’ve gotten much pickier about what I’m willing to spend 10 hours on. That’s why the Disney/Hulu episode a week is great. You don’t face the same time suck issue.

  14. ElleV says:

    the real magic is just watching copies of BBC documentaries on YouTube

  15. SpankyB says:

    I got Netflix a few years ago just so I could watch Lucifer. Now I stay for Bridgerton. I also have Paramount+ (or whatever it’s called now) and Amazon.

    I have no frills basic cable so it’s not too expensive but I haven’t watched TV in over a year. Why? Because I stream everything through AppleTV on my TV and it’s a pain to switch back and forth. I always forget how to do it so I’ll be streaming until the end of time. (Pass the Werther’s my way, please)

    I fell asleep during episode 2 of Bad Vegan. I’m not sure I need to go back and watch it, I’m on episode 4 now. It seems to be dragging on. I do feel for her though. I’m pretty gullible so I guess it’s been a blessing that I haven’t had enough money for anyone to take advantage of me like that. I can totally see me falling for a scammer.

  16. Veronica S. says:

    They better be real careful how they implement this because plenty of people travel on the regular. Between the price increases and increasing restrictions, they’re going to drive people into pirating. It’s just not worth it after a certain point. I’m probably going to cancel Prime for the same reason this year. At this point, I can buy the shows I like and spend the same overall for what I’m paying Amazon.

  17. Cee says:

    I pay for everything so I guess my siblings and parents are gonna need their own accounts LOL
    I’d love to keep my grandma on, though. She deserves her telenovelas.

  18. Nievie says:

    there is no Amazon vs Netflix- Amazon owns the servers Netflix runs on, so either way, Bezos wins..

  19. Redheadwriter says:

    We share with our kids in other households (military, college, another city). What will this do to the hotels that allow you to log in while on trips?

    We pay for Netflix. one child pays for Hulu, another pays for HBOMax. We share between us all. I honestly wouldn’t object to paying extra because we do share between us all. If I was doing all of them personally, I would be going to cable too.

  20. Cessily says:

    How rude of them..🤨 so glad things were more lax when my kids went to university. Saved me a lot of cable and streaming fees to have them login and use my services. I paid for them and didn’t use them at the time so I figured it evened out. Now they have there own and Mom signs on occasionally. It is getting to expensive imo.

  21. Mina_Esq says:

    So now we have to have another Netflix account for when we go to the cottage, or when my son takes his iPad to a sleepover? Ffs ugh They shouldn’t use “household” when they mean “address”.

  22. JJS says:

    Also binged Bad Vegan though I HATED the title. Her “badness” had nothing to do with being vegan (or really, she was into Raw food vegan. But BAD RAW FOOD EATER was probably not as hate feeling for casual scrollers.) It was so addicting to watch, I feel so bad for all these people getting essentially brainwashed. A common theme seems to be CIA / secret agent / eyes watching you… Really wish they had found out more about the guy’s dad or background….

  23. Barbara says:

    Yes, I’d love a post on Bad Vegan!
    I am halfway through and hoping you’d cover it.

  24. Ange says:

    Eh….there all falling behind. My 13 year old son built his own PC and we have whatever we want.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully this will not interfere with people with multiple homes, especially those who move between them for either work, income or weekend/leisure purposes. Or those of us who had to upend our living arrangements due to COVID and still are keeping vulnerable loved ones safe. And/or now are back and forth or all over between homes because of working remotely. (Especially in a pandemic) They are focusing on the wrong type of revenue growth, in my opinion. Maybe they should make a super attractive discounted “student” price or something, try to create brand loyalty and more subscriptions that way, vs this punitive approach.

  26. Courtney says:

    It’s so hard to keep track of where to find what. I miss just having cable for TV shows, knowing when to watch them by day of the week and time they were on. That was good family time. Then you saw movies in the theater to be out and socialize, and could rent them later if you wanted to. So much simpler and cheaper! The only perk of streaming services I see is just the sheer amount of options we have now, but it’s almost too much unless you want to spend your entire life keeping track of shows/movies!

  27. amilou says:

    Yes! Please cover Bad Vegan on Monday! I just finished it last night. I’d heard the news headlines when it happened, but the doc was really eye-opening.

  28. Filmic says:

    Netflix can honestly suck it. The worst film company to work for , cheap towards employees and contractors