It may soon be impossible to share your Netflix password with friends and family members if Netflix’s pilot program in three Latin American countries is successful. It will soon be impossible to share your Netflix password with friends and family members if Netflix’s pilot program in three Latin American countries is successful. The company has announced the launch of a pilot programme in Costa Rica, Peru, and Chile where it is asking users to pay a fee to add profiles outside of their own households, according to a blog post by Netflix.
The fee is not on par with what it charges usually and is available at a discounted rate. Users will be allowed to add up to two people outside of their house, the company said.
“Accounts are being shared between households— impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.” — Chengyi Long, Director, Product Innovation, Netflix
These people will get their own profile, personalised recommendations, login, and password, the post explained. The discounted rate will stack up to 2,380 Chilean Pesos in Chile, $2.99 in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru.
Why this matters: Netflix has been looking to augment its plateauing user base for months now as it looks to fend off challenges from multiple OTT platforms. Several OTT platforms will be observing Netflix closely as the problem of password sharing plagues most of them. It is likely to have a wide-ranging impact as it is estimated that password sharing costs platforms billions of dollars in lost revenue.
Testing transfer of profiles to new accounts
The streaming giant also announced that it was testing a transfer of profiles to new accounts in these three countries.
The company will basically offer to migrate profile information of people sharing accounts of members to its basic, standard, and premium plans. The migration can be done either to a “new account or an Extra Member sub-account”, the company said in its post.
The migration will allow people to keep their viewing history, watchlist, and personalised recommendations intact.
“We’ll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world,” Long explained.
Netflix’s past attempts to curb sharing of passwords
This is not the first time Netflix has experimented with a clampdown on password sharing, The Verge revealed. The company rolled out account verification to keep unauthorised users out of a legitimate user’s account in March last year.
“If Netflix detects that someone is trying to use the account without being an account owner, they’ll be asked to verify later or verify being an account owner through an email code or text code,” The Verge explained. The person will be locked out of the account if they are not able to verify their ownership within a certain timeframe. The test was not specific to any one country or any specific length of time, the report revealed.
In addition to the above measures, Netflix also has a feature wherein it lets users lock their profiles with a pin if they think that their password has been shared with a lot of people who have all logged in at the same time.
Netflix hikes fees for its plans in the US
As the company’s user growth slackens, the company has realised that it will need to resort to periodic price hikes in order to stay competitive.
It recently announced a hike across its plans because of which the company’s standard plan will be available for $15.50 per month from $14. The 4K plan will rise to $20 per month from $18. The basic plan, which doesn’t include HD, is also rising to $10 per month from $9.
Netflix’s price hikes in the last decade
The company’s policy in India, however, has deviated from its global policy as it looks to add more users. India is considered to be an important market for Netflix but it has not been able to make any inroads.
Netflix slashed its monthly subscription fee in India by as much as 50 per cent with its basic plan costing Rs. 199 a month instead of Rs. 499 earlier, according to a press release by Netflix. The standard plan, in which one can share two screens, is available at Rs. 499 a month as opposed to Rs. 649, the company added.
The premium plan has also seen a 19 percent drop to Rs. 649 from Rs. 799; it is the most expensive plan in which a subscriber can watch Netflix on up to four screens. The mobile-only plan saw a cut of Rs. 50 and will now cost Rs. 149.
India is a price-sensitive market and the service continues to be among the most expensive even after the price cut. It has only been four months since the announcement and it remains to be seen whether the streaming platform has witnessed a bump in its numbers.
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