Netflix to start charging for ‘shared accounts’ as it cracks down on password sharing

Netflix has confirmed it will introduce paid-for “shared accounts” worldwide from next year as it attempts to crackdown on password sharing.

Under the current rules, subscribers are told they’re not supposed to share their passwords with people outside their household.

However, this hasn’t stopped users from giving their account details to friends and family to save cash.

In a letter to shareholders, the streaming giant said it wants to roll out plans to “monetize” paid-for account sharing globally.

Netflix will encourage subscribers to pay for an extra user.

A similar scheme currently runs in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

In these countries, users have to pay an extra $2.99 for each “second home” using their account.

“We’ve landed on a thoughtful approach to monetize account sharing and we’ll begin rolling this out more broadly starting in early 2023,” said Netflix.

“After listening to consumer feedback, we are going to offer the ability for borrowers to transfer their Netflix profile into their own account, and for sharers to manage their devices more easily and to create sub-accounts (extra member), if they want to pay for family or friends.

“In countries with our lower-priced ad-supported plan, we expect the profile transfer option for borrowers to be especially popular.”

Netflix hasn’t offered any additional information about when this could roll out in the UK.

But in a recently updated blog post, the streaming giant said “we will not make changes in other countries until we better understand what’s easiest for our members”.

The news comes after Netflix confirmed plans to launch an ad-supported plan in the UK next month, priced at £4.99.

Netflix says there will be an average of four to five minutes of adverts per hour.

But while the new package might be cheaper, a limited number of films and TV series won’t be available due to licensing restrictions.

You also won’t be able to download content. Like its Basic plan, you’ll be able to watch Netflix on one device.

The video quality will be up to 720p HD, with the Basic plan being upgraded to match this as well.

Netflix added 2.4 million households to its subscriber base over the July to September period.

That reversed the number of customers that turned off in the first half of the year, after Netflix lost almost a million users between April and July this year.

Its subscriber total now sits at just above 223 million.