In bad news for anyone mooching their Netflix account off parents/friends/that one ex from 2017, Netflix is trialling a feature where customers must pay extra to share their password — and yes, you’ll even be charged for sharing your password with yourself.
Netflix will launch an “add a home” feature next week which basically charges customers for the ability to share their accounts with devices that aren’t theirs — but the price will be less than a standard subscription fee.
It’s currently being trialled in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Here’s the real kicker, though: your Netflix account isn’t just tied to you but to your home, too. Which means you can’t use your own login details at your mate’s place or at a hotel or Airbnb.
If you have a holiday home or a place you spend significant amounts of time at that isn’t your primary residence, you’ll have to use the “add a home” feature and pay to be able to use your Netflix account there.
I know what you’re thinking: it’s fine, you can just register your mate’s place as yours when you want to watch Netflix there, and then deregister it when you leave, right? Wrong!
Under Netflix’s new system, you can only register your account to another home for two weeks max. If you remove a home you can’t add it again for another year. And you can only do this with a home once per year for that location.
Earlier this year, the company also trialled a similar feature in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru where customers were charged an “extra member fee” of about $2 or $3 to let someone outside their household use their Netflix account.
The trials come amidst a bunch of changes to Netflix’s funding model — it’s also introducing a cheaper subscription option to its content which has ads, set to be running by early 2023.
The ad-supported tier is supposed to be more affordable than the premium tiers, therefore pulling in people who don’t have a Netflix account but might consider one if it was cheaper.
Buuuut the ad-supported tier probably won’t have access to all the same shows.
“Today, the vast majority of what people watch on Netflix, we can include in the ad-supported tier,” Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said, per Deadline.
“There’s some things that don’t and we’re in conversations with the studios on, but if we launched the product today, members in the ad-tier would have a great experience.
“We will clear some additional content but certainly not all of it but don’t think it’s a material holdback for the business.”
Sorry, I love Netflix, but I have to ask: at that point, won’t people just revert back to piracy? I mean if you have to deal with ads either way, what’s the incentive??
Though I’ll be honest, the trauma of accidentally downloading a totally different movie with the same title of what you wanted is *not* something I ever want to deal with again. So maybe that’ll be enough to convince some people to pay for ads?
I guess we’ll have to see how it goes.