Netflix has been talking non-stop since last year about cracking down on password sharing between individuals from different households, with the streamer coming up with several potential methods to prevent the practice. As per a report last month, Netflix has now officially outlined a more firm timeline for its upcoming enforcement in its latest earnings report.
Calling the move “paid sharing”, the crackdown on password sharing will start rolling out more broadly later in the first quarter of 2023, meaning that it could be implemented by the end of March at the latest. The streaming giant expects some “cancel reaction” in certain markets when it is rolled out but in the long term, it expects to see improved revenue from extra member accounts.
For now, that’s all that Netflix will reveal regarding its paid sharing plans, with its pricing and exact mechanism still a mystery. Of course, the mention of “extra member accounts” hints that the company might go with its Extra Member feature that it has been testing in some South American countries since last year.
If this is the road Netflix goes for, it will give users an option to pay a fee to be added on as an extra member outside the primary household which should be cheaper than paying for a standalone account. For those who opt to start their own account instead in the case of being caught password sharing, they may do so while still keeping their history and preferences through the new profile transfer feature that was launched last year.
What’s even more unclear is if the broader rollout of paid sharing will include the “Add a Home” feature that Netflix has been trialling, which requires users to pay extra if they regularly use their own account for long periods outside of their homes. To better control who uses your account, the company introduced a tool that lets you manage devices signed into your account and even kick out unwanted users.
Previous reports suggest that the giant might implement the crackdown gradually instead of all at once globally. Netflix estimates that there are over 100 million households globally that are sharing accounts against the service’s rules, so getting even a fraction of these users to sign up for their own subscriptions could potentially be a huge revenue boost for the platform.
(Source: Netflix [PDF])