Netflix’s fight against password sharing is expanding in earnest. The company is rolling out paid account sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain after trialing the effort in Latin America. If you live in one of these countries, you’ll need to set a primary location to have unfettered access at home. If you have any friends or family who want to share your account, you’ll have to subscribe to either the Standard or Premium tier and pay a fee ($8 in Canada and New Zealand, €4 in Portugal and €6 in Spain) for up to two extra users outside of your home.
You can still watch on your phone or sign into the service on a device elsewhere, like a smart TV at a hotel. Netflix also lets you convert a profile into a new account. The company promises to tweak paid sharing based on feedback, and to continue the deployment over the “coming months.”
The streaming pioneer isn’t shy about its rationale. As it has argued in the past, Netflix claims account sharing is hurting its bottom line. The 100 million-plus households sharing accounts are “impacting [Netflix’s] ability” to invest in new content, according to product director Chengyi Long. In theory, paid sharing improves the company’s revenue without forcing affected users to pay full price for a completely separate account.
It’s not clear how new regions will take to the policy. Many rival services don’t have account sharing restrictions, and some sharers may be averse to paying anything to use someone else’s access. While we wouldn’t expect users to switch services in droves, there may be some who simply forego Netflix altogether to avoid paying a fee.
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