Streaming giant Netflix will reportedly soon be testing a scheme to make primary account holders pay a fee for users outside their households to crack down on password sharing.

Variety reports that Netflix will soon be testing a scheme to charge primary account holders a fee for letting users outside of their household access their account, with the goal to crack down on password sharing.


CEO Of Netflix, Reed Hastings, attends the red carpet during the Netflix presentation party at the Invernadero del Palacio de Cristal de la Arganzuela on April 4, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images for Netflix)

CEO Of Netflix, Reed Hastings  (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images for Netflix)

Natalia Dyer, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Charlie Heaton, and Noah Schnapp in Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016)

The company’s terms of service state that a customer account “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household,” however, for years users have shared their Netflix accounts with friends and family. Netflix has been aware of this issue but ignored it for some time. Last year, Netflix ran a limited test prompting users to enter their account details to force those using borrowed accounts to pay for their own.

In an upcoming test set to launch in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, Netflix plans to let members who share their accounts with others outside their household do so “easily and securely, while also paying a bit more,” said Chengyi Long, the director of product innovation at Netflix.

Long wrote in a blog post: “We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans. While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared. As a result, accounts are being shared between households — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”

The “add an extra member feature” will allow members of Netflix’s Standard and Premium plans to add subsidiary accounts for up to two people outside their household for less than the cost of a separate Netflix plan. In the test countries, the cost for adding a sub-member is between $2 and $3 U.S. dollars.

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