Netflix is set to begin charging for password sharing in the United States from early 2023, according to new reports.
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After promising a crackdown on the practice, the streaming service introduced an “add extra member” feature for Chile, Peru and Costa Rica back in March.
In July, Netflix then 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.
According to a new report from the The Wall Street Journal, similar rules will come into force in the US from early next year, with a $3 (£2.49) charge for each extra household using a Netflix account.
The report states that Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos told investors in early December: “Make no mistake, I don’t think consumers are going to love it right out of the gate.”
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 programmes 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.
This week, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have revealed the UK’s most-streamed shows of the year.
Topping the most-watched list for Netflix is Harry & Meghan, the recently released docu-series featuring revelations from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Figures show that the first episode was watched by an average 4.5 million people in the first week following its release on December 8.