Netflix expanding password-sharing crackdown with new test

An 'add a home' feature will roll out in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala on Aug. 22

Netflix is expanding its efforts to crack down on password sharing with a new test in some Latin American countries.

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Beginning Aug. 22, the streaming behemoth will unveil a new "add a home" option, which will ask users to pay an extra monthly fee if they stream through a TV or TV-connected device located outside a primary household linked to their account. The fee will be 219 pesos per month in Argentina and $2.99 per month in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. 

Users of Netflix's basic plan will be able to add one extra home, while those on the standard plan can add up to two extra homes and those on the premium plan can add up to three extra homes. Netflix will detect homes being used through IP addresses, device IDs and account activity. 

"It’s great that our members love Netflix movies and TV shows so much they want to share them more broadly," Chenyi Long, Netflix's director of product innovation, said in a statement. "But today’s widespread account sharing between households undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve our service."

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According to Netflix's Homes support page in Argentina, users will be able to stream their favorite movies and television shows on a laptop or mobile device while traveling.

In addition, they will be able to watch Netflix on a TV outside their primary home for up to two weeks at no extra charge as long as their account has not been previously used in that location. This is allowed once per location per year. After that time, the TV will be blocked unless the user adds the extra home.

Users can manage the homes linked to their account in their settings. When an extra home is removed, all devices in that home will be signed out of the Netflix account at the end of the user's billing period. The extra monthly fee will also be removed from future bills. 

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In addition to "add a home," Netflix has been testing two other features since March in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru designed to help crack down on password sharing.

Through its "add an extra member" feature, standard and premium plan members can add sub-accounts for up to two people they don't live with - each with their own profile, personalized recommendations, login and password. The add an extra member feature costs 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru.

In addition, basic, standard and premium plan members can enable people who share their account to transfer profile information either to a new account or an extra member sub account.

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Netflix, which reported having nearly 222 million subscribers globally as of the end of the first quarter of 2022, has been looking for new ways to bolster growth following its first subscriber loss in over a decade. 

The company revealed in April that it had more than 100 million households sharing passwords, including 30 million in the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to cracking down on password sharing, the company has announced plans to roll out a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier.