While we may all joke about it, there are many of us here in Australia who definitely go against Netflix’s terms and conditions, and happily share our account details with people who live outside of our household.
And now, after Variety, first broke the news Netflix may have introduced new rules regarding account sharing, the streaming giant has confirmed it will roll out new restrictions on a global scale.
Back in March, Director of product innovation at Netflix, Chengyi Long announced that Netflix is launching a ‘test’ in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru where Netflix users will only be able to share their account with people outside their household if they pay “a bit more”.
Following the test, Netflix will now implement the system in Australia and across the rest of the world early next year. Chengyi Long said:
“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 new system will mean one account is only available for people who live together in a single household.
The reveal was made during the streaming service’s recent quarter earnings update, which also revealed it has increased its number of paying subscribers in the US.
Under the new rules, paying subscribers who share an account and don’t live together, will be able to add up to two people they don’t live with. It is not clear exactly how much this will be, but during the ‘test’ is came to an extra US$2.99 per month; those two people will get their own profile, personalised recommendations, login and password.
If these people are ones who already have their own profile connected to a paying subscriber, then their personal recommendations, watch lists and other favourite content will be ported across.
But for those who are already struggling financially to keep their account running, the company has announced that a cheaper subscription plan with ads is coming soon. Anyone who has been using Netflix through a personalised profile on someone else’s account can now transfer that profile to their own account.
What’s still unclear is how Netflix will track who’s using the account and where they live – and whether this is an invasion of privacy… Many Netflix users watch Netflix while commuting to and from work, so surely the streaming platform will still allow people to use their account when they’re not at home; but again, it is slightly alarming if Netflix can tell exactly where we are while using their app.
With the end to account sharing now on the horizon, let’s hope Netflix does enough to persuade users to get their own accounts, so it can continue to churn out original content.