With an excessively costly additional member offer, the crackdown has arrived in the United States.
Is it premature to indulge in nostalgic sentiments for the early days of streaming? We have undoubtedly progressed far beyond the simple decision of selecting between Netflix and Hulu. While branding is perpetually evolving and various players enter and exit the market (or acquire one another), Netflix has successfully adapted to these changes and retained its esteemed status. However, recently the company has become resolute in relinquishing one aspect of its history: the brazen act of subscribers sharing their account credentials with non-paying individuals. After conducting preliminary tests and initiating the crackdown in international markets, today Netflix extends its efforts to curb password sharing to the United States.
Netflix will be reaching out to users who engage in password sharing, explicitly addressing this practice and emphasizing that sharing is only permissible among members of the same physical household. The company unequivocally states that it recognizes two valid options: either transferring a user profile to a new, separate paid account or paying a monthly fee of $8 to include an “extra member” on the existing account. This amount essentially amounts to half the price of a full, standard account.
Similar to previous practices, extra members can continue enjoying content even if they are not residing in the primary household. However, there are certain restrictions in place. They are limited to streaming on one device at a time and can only use a single device to store downloaded media. It’s important to note that this option is exclusively available for fully paid plans and is not supported on plans subsidized with ads. Additionally, the $10 Basic plan, which allows for a single stream, is not compatible with this option, which is reasonable considering its limitations.
Netflix maintains that it has not witnessed a significant loss of users due to the implemented changes. In fact, the company has observed subscriber growth in specific markets where the crackdown has already been implemented. Nonetheless, it remains highly intriguing to observe the response of US viewers to this development in the upcoming days and weeks.
Given the relatively higher cost of Netflix compared to its competitors and the long-standing prevalence of account sharing, it seems likely that there will be some level of resistance. It remains to be seen whether individuals will choose to pay the additional $8 per month, cease sharing their accounts altogether, or perhaps reconsider their streaming choices entirely. There are certainly numerous alternatives available if one is willing to invest some effort, such as setting up a personal streaming Plex NAS server at home.