Netflix is testing a new feature that will allow users to legitimately share their accounts with people outside of their household for a small fee.
The video streaming service provides its Standard and Premium plan users with features like separate profiles and multiple concurrent streams.
This has enabled users to share accounts with people outside of their household, a practice that is technically not allowed under Netflix’s policies.
The company states that sharing accounts impacts its ability to invest in new TV shows and movies.
But with little to no means of stopping this, outside of location tracking or severe limits on profiles, attempts to clamp down password-sharing have been unsuccessful.
Now, Netflix is looking to compromise by giving account holders the option to add more members without those new streamers paying the full subscription fee.
“For the last year, we’ve been working on ways to enable members who share outside their household to do so easily and securely, while also paying a bit more,” the company said.
Over the next few weeks, the option to add extra members will be launched in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru as part of a limited test.
Members in this country will be able to add sub-accounts for up to two people they don’t live with — with their own profile, personalised recommendations, login name, and password.
That means original accountholders won’t have to expose their login details to those they wish to share an account with.
Notably, the fees for an additional account are very affordable compared to the full subscription amount.
The prices Netflix will charge in the three testing countries are as follows:
- 2,380 CLP in Chile — about 29% of the 8,320 CLP price for Standard
- $2.99 in Costa Rica — about 23% of the $12.99 for Standard
- $7.90 PEN in Peru — about 23% of the $34.90 PEN for Standard
If Netflix uses a similar approach in South Africa, with the price 23%-29% of the R159 Standard subscription fee, it would cost around R37 to R46.
Netflix will also allow users to transfer existing profiles under the main account to a new account, letting them keep their viewing history, lists, and personalised recommendations.
The company said it would attempt to understand the utility of these features for members in the testing countries before rolling out changes to accounts in the rest of the world.