Netflix starts password-sharing crackdown in United States
Other countries have previously seen rollout of new password-sharing policy
U.S. users of Netflix are becoming subject to the streaming giant’s efforts to restrict users from widely sharing passwords outside their households.
Under the new rules, a Netflix account is meant for only "you and the people you live with," meaning people outside the home will have to get their own account or have the owner of the one they were using pay for them to become an "extra member," according to the press release Netflix put out Tuesday. The streaming giant said U.S. users who engage in password-sharing are beginning to receive notification about the change.
The "Sharing your Netflix account" Help Center page for the U.S. stated Tuesday that Netflix subscribers with Standard or Premium plans in eligible countries can add an extra member. The process involves the account owner paying for the "extra member slot" and the person they want to share with receiving an invitation.
The extra member "must be activated in the same country where the account owner created their account," according to the Help Center page.
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Adding one in the U.S. will bring the account owner an additional $7.99 monthly charge per extra member, according to Netflix. Meanwhile, the streaming giant’s ad-supported plan has a $6.99 monthly price tag.
For those with Standard plans, they can have only one extra member, according to another Help Center page for the U.S. That number goes up by one for Premium subscribers.
The ability to have an extra member does not appear to be offered for Netflix’s other two plans.
The company said it limits extra members to only streaming a TV show or movie on one device at a time. It also has a similar limit for downloading content for them, according to the Help Center page about extra members.
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Prior to bringing the new policy to the U.S., the company has previously implemented a crackdown on password-sharing in other countries. It first did so with "different approaches" in Latin America, followed by a rollout of paid-sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, FOX Business previously reported.
Netflix had indicated in April that the U.S. and other countries would see the introduction of paid-sharing in the second quarter as part of a wider launch. The streaming giant said at the time that it had "shifted out the timing of the broad launch" from its original first-quarter target due to changes that it thought "will lead to even better results."
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The company reported having a total of 232.5 million total memberships across the world as of the first quarter. That figure marked a less than 1% lift from the prior quarter and a 4.9% jump from the first quarter in the prior year.
The price of Netflix’s stock has experienced a nearly 2% drop as of Tuesday afternoon amid the latest development on password-sharing.