Netflix stated on Thursday that it is expanding paid sharing, also known as Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing, to additional countries, including Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain.
The company had already attempted paid sharing in a number of Latin American countries, including Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, and others.
It’s also now providing some information on how paid sharing would function, in the hopes of quelling customer outrage over the impending changes, which have some threatening to abandon their Netflix memberships.
The announcement follows a breach of password limitations earlier this month, which prompted subscriber complaints.
In the United States, Netflix surreptitiously disclosed information on its password-sharing rules on its U.S. Help site, where it was picked up by many news outlets, including The Streamable.
The streamer swiftly explained that the instructions had been published in error and that the regulations for the United States had not yet been finalized, the harm had already been done.
Netflix members voiced outrage on social media over the changes and how they will soon be compelled to pay for the extra persons using their accounts.
Many individuals accurately pointed out that this would affect families who shared their service with a child in college, families that split a plan but reside in various places, and those who commute between homes.
It would also penalize persons who travelled for business and frequently signed in from places other than their houses.
Subscribers will have two options in the future where paid sharing is available.
They can pay to add the extra member to their account (CAD $7.99 per month per person in Canada, NZD$ 7.99 in New Zealand, Euro 3.99 in Portugal, and Euro 5.99 in Spain). Otherwise, they can propose that the person get their own account and terminate their service.
Netflix members were also concerned about how the new policy might affect travel restrictions.
Netflix noted in the published regulations that members would have to connect to the Netflix app on their home network at least once every 31 days or risk having their account access revoked.
Even as the primary subscriber, one can understand how easy it would be to run into this issue.
For example, if you grabbed an often-unused tablet to watch on the plane but failed to authenticate with Netflix before leaving, you might find yourself without access.
In this instance, Netflix proposes asking the primary account holder to validate the device with a code on your behalf. But that is obviously inconvenient.
Members would be forced to designate a primary location and govern who had access to their account using a new Manage Access and Devices page, according to a blog post published today by Netflix.
It also stated that subscribers may “still easily watch Netflix on their personal devices” whether travelling or logging into a new television.
However, the post did not expressly address the concerns about the 31-day authentication limit.
People who travel frequently or have a second home, however, will be forced to open the Netflix app on their mobile device or devices while connected to their house’s Wi-Fi in their primary address “once a month and then when they arrive at their second location,” according to Netflix.
The business pointed out that this is similar to how Hulu with Live TV works, but it’s an unfair comparison.
The home location of a user determines and limits the availability of regional sports networks. Local affiliate networks are also geographically based.
It is unclear whether the same rules will apply in the United States when the feature is released in Netflix’s home market.
Netflix consumers recognize that the modifications are more of a money grab than anything else.
And they follow years of a considerably more lax password policy. Netflix’s then-CEO Reed Hastings even called password sharing a “positive thing” and a “terrific marketing vehicle” in 2016.
The “transfer profile” function, on its own, may have gradually pulled customers away from a shared account.
However, it is increasingly more likely that a family member or friend will push them to leave.
If those members subsequently create their own Netflix accounts, Netflix’s subscriber base will have expanded.
Netflix had its first subscriber decline in ten years last year and later recorded its largest quarterly loss ever.
“We value our members and understand that they have many entertainment options,” the firm noted in a blog post today.
“A Netflix account is intended for one family and members can choose from a range of plans with varying features. As always, we’ll fine-tune these new features based on member feedback to ensure that Netflix continues to develop in the years ahead.”
The corporation also disclosed plan specifics and the number of additional members permitted for each plan, as seen in the chart below.