Changes are coming to Netflix, and while they’re not a surprise, the move might turn away a lot of subscribers. We’ve known the streaming company was set to crack down on password sharing, but now we have more details, and it sounds like it will be specifically bad for families.
On Tuesday, October 18, Netflix announced it will begin charging additional fees for account sharing starting in early 2023, according to Business Insider. A letter sent to shareholders noted Netflix intends to launch its “extra member” sub-accounts fee, requiring users to pay more for people who access their account and don’t live at the same address.
The move is an expansion of a program they’re already testing in Latin America, Engadget reports. In that pilot program, users are charged an extra fee for every “extra user,” which are people who don’t live in the same home and have access to your login information.
“Basically, every listing on the ‘Who’s Watching?’ screen will cost you extra money if they don’t also live with you,” Engadget explains.
This price move makes sense in a business way. And the company must have done some analysis to see how much revenue is lost by users sharing accounts (a survey from the Leichtman Research Group in March estimates one-third of US Netflix subscribers share their logins).
But, still, this price movie is a hit for families who cover the Netflix subscription cost for their college-aged kids, their grandma who now lives alone, or sharing with a new mom who’s up in the middle of the night with their newborn with no extra cash in their bank account.
So how much more will this new “extra members” fee cost users? Netflix hasn’t announced its pricing structure in the US yet. However, Verge notes that the pricing will likely follow the system the pilot program in Latin America is running right now, where a sub-account costs an additional $2.99 per month (on top of the $12 monthly fee).
Earlier this year, Netflix announced they would launch a less expensive tier to access its programming. The ad-supported tier will cost $7 a month when it launches next month, far less than the average person spends on Netflix, which is just over $15 a month. So, at least there’s that.