Netflix has found a way to get money out of users who share passwords

Netflix logo and remote control

Netflix has been battling dropping subscriber numbers for a while, and the company has been looking for ways to either recoup the money lost through a shrinking userbase, or to increase the number of people willing to pay for access.

To provide a cheaper point of entry, Netflix has plans to introduce a lower-cost, ad-supported subscription tier, but the company has also talked about clamping down on people who share passwords and access to their account with friends. And with the newly announced "extra home" option, we've finally learned just how this is going to work.

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Netflix says that it needs to find ways to bring in more money in the face of "widespread account sharing between households". The company points out that password sharing on the current scale "undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve our service".

Having already conducted "add extra member" tests with subscribers in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru earlier this year, Netflix says that it is now ready to bring the option to "add a home" to other countries. For $2.99 a month it will be possible to legitimately share an account with another household. Netflix explains how it will work:

  • One home per account: Each Netflix account - whatever your plan - will include one home where you can enjoy Netflix on any of your devices. 
  • Buy additional homes: To use your Netflix account in additional homes, we will ask you to pay an extra [219 Pesos per month per home in Argentina / $2.99 per month per home in the Dominican Republic / $2.99 per month per home in Honduras / $2.99 per month per home in El Salvador / $2.99 per month per home in Guatemala]. Members on the Basic plan can add one extra home, Standard up to two extra, and Premium up to three extra. 
  • Travel included: You can watch while outside the home on your tablet, laptop or mobile.
  • New manage homes feature: You will soon be able to control where your account is being used - and remove homes at any time - from your account settings page.

This feature is due to expand into Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras next month, but it is not clear when, or if, it will spread to the rest of the world. Netflix says:

We value our members, and recognize that they have many entertainment choices. So we're working hard to make great TV shows and films, and to be as thoughtful as possible about how we charge for use across multiple homes. We will not make changes in other countries until we better understand what's easiest for our members.

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