May 25, 2022

Netflix is ​​starting to test a new feature that will encourage customers to pay extra if they share the service with people outside their family. This feature allows families to add two “child accounts” for less than the cost of a full Netflix service. The new option will be initially tested in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru and rolled out to those markets in the coming weeks. The company did not say when or when this feature will be rolled out to subscribers worldwide.

At launch, Netflix Standard and Premium subscribers in test markets will be able to add additional accounts to their service for those they don’t live with. As always, each additional account has its own profile and personal recommendations. But what makes this feature different is that additional accounts also have their own Netflix login and password. And if they ever want to set up their own Netflix service with their name and billing information, their browsing history, watchlist (“My List”) and personalized recommendations will be saved.

Netflix does not use location data such as GPS for this feature to work. Instead, the company uses the same information it does today to offer its services to its end users, including IP address, device ID, and other information about devices registered with Netflix accounts across the family. This information helps Netflix determine when out-of-home sharing occurs.

To activate new sub accounts, the main account holder will receive an email with a code that will be used to verify that the sub devices are part of their family.

Additional entrants from other countries in trial markets cost 2,380 CLP in Chile, $2.99 ​​in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru. It’s cheaper than the full Netflix account plan, but it’s also more than the cost of sharing a Netflix account for free. Netflix notes that additional members do not pay separately for their account – the Netflix bill still goes to the owner of the main account. (If this person wants to charge their additional members a new fee, they must process and collect it.)

In previous years, Netflix has largely turned a blind eye to the common practice of users sharing their Netflix accounts with other friends and family outside of their immediate home. Then-Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once called account sharing a “positive thing” because it gave newcomers a chance to explore what the service had to offer. But Netflix has nothing to prove these days — many of its shows, like Stranger Things or The Squid Game, have become global entertainment sensations. Meanwhile, the real challenge is to grow customers and revenue in an increasingly competitive environment. For example, Streamer ended the year especially hard, with the lowest customer growth in years.

In theory, creating a route for additional members to follow the path of full subscribers via the new transfer option could help increase Netflix’s paying user base over time. However, in the short term, it’s worth noting that additional members are not considered customers while they are still using someone else’s account.

While Netflix has been happy to use account sharing in the past, that has changed today. The current Netflix Terms of Service states that sharing is something that should happen within a family, not between families. Last March, the company also tested a feature that was described as restricting password sharing, indicating that a wider rollout could be on the way.

However, we understand that Netflix doesn’t view this new test as suppression – it’s just a choice it wants to make to see if it makes sense for the participants. Perhaps due to user feedback, the company abandoned the idea of ​​trying something else. Or Netflix may decide to roll it out more widely if members take advantage of the feature. Time will show.

“We believe that people have multiple entertainment options, so we want all new features to be flexible and useful for members whose subscriptions cover all of our great TV shows and movies,” Chenghai Long, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, wrote in a blog post. message. “We will try to understand the usefulness of these two features for the members of these three countries before making changes to other countries in the world,” Long said.

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