Password parasites, we bring you bad news. Netflix has announced plans to roll out a trial that will charge account owners for sharing passwords with people who don’t live in the same household.
Netflix is first going to trial this scheme in three countries: Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. If an account is being spread across multiple households, subscribers will be prompted to add an extra user to their package at the reduced cost of $ 2.99 in Costa Rica, S/7.9 in Peru, and 2,380 peso in Chile. People who have been forced off the account can transfer all their data to a new account or an extra member sub-account to ensure they still have their viewing history, personalized recommendations, etc.
The tech company said they would look to see how this trial goes in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world.
The reason for the project seems clear: money. Netflix says they support people who live together to share their accounts, but prolific password sharing between multiple households is taking a toll on their multi-billion dollar profits, apparently.
“Accounts are being shared between households – impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members,” Chengyi Long, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, wrote in a blog post.
Technically, Netflix does already prohibit password sharing beyond single households. In their terms and conditions, it reads: “The Netflix service and any content accessed through the service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” Evidently, however, these rules are not tightly enforced
If the password-sharing crackdown proves successful and gets the green light, it would be quite a U-turn from the streaming giant’s stance a few years ago. Netflix’s co-CEO and Chairman Reed Hastings has previously expressed no concern over the issue of password streaming, arguing that it’s part of what makes streaming services so desirable.
"We love people sharing Netflix," Hastings told the crowd at CES 2016. "That's a positive thing, not a negative thing."