Today (July 22), news broke that Netflix have asked customers in five more countries – Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic – to pay additional fees if they are sharing their password with viewers outside of their household. The additional fees vary between countries but users can expect to pay no more than an additional US$2.99.
According to IGN, the extra cost won’t affect the use of the streaming service from mobile devices. The move comes after Netflix introduced an “add extra member” feature for Chile, Peru and Costa Rica back in March.
The entertainment service has been attempting to limit password sharing for some time. Back in 2019, Netflix had said they intended to implement new rules for the sharing of passwords, but would do so in a “consumer-friendly way”.
In 2021, Netflix rolled out a verification system in some countries, whereby programs began with a warning: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”
In research published earlier this year, it was estimated that at least 27 per cent of Netflix’s then-14.9million UK subscribers alone shared their accounts with other members of their household. The research also found that a “minimum” of 17million subscribers share passwords across Netflix’s five biggest markets in Europe – the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy.
A statement from Netflix’s chief executive Reed Hastings back in April said the company was “working on how to monetise sharing”. “Remember, these are over 100million households that already are choosing to view Netflix,” Hastings said. “They love the service. We’ve just gotta get paid in some degree for them.”
Earlier this week, Netflix reported a loss of 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2022. Though less than the projected loss of two million the streaming giant had originally estimated, the descent follows a loss of 200,000 subscribers in the year’s first quarter.
Despite Netflix’s planned changes to password changing, they are projecting a boost of one million subscribers in the period between July 1 to September 30 this year.