Once a founding component on the online streaming site, password sharing is now being cracked down upon by Netflix executives. Netflix announced this past Wednesday that the service would be charging people for other watchers on their accounts, to the dismay and outrage of longtime users. Though the company stated that the reasoning has to do with providing better TV for its consumers, many users are understandably skeptical.
The Netflix announcement shocked most, who publicly encouraged password and account sharing since its inception. With over 222 million subscribers worldwide, it’s one of the leading and most successful streaming services. But apparently, this success hasn’t stopped the company from its newest venture in account-sharing charges. Netflix stated that the rampant sharing has impacted its “ability to invest in great TV” and that an additional account cost would be funneled into television production.
As expected, Twitter condemned Netflix’s sudden hypocrisy on account sharing. Some users commented on how the company will deter or lose already established customers due to this unjust policy. Others were quick to point out how password-sharing costs would be even trickier in divorced homes or for kids going to boarding school or college. Most of all, users commented on the extra upcharge, frustrated that streaming services are exploiting its consumer base who are already struggling financially.
Though Netflix won’t ban password and account sharing officially, the streaming service implements an additive charge for each new watcher. This charge will get a trial run in three countries: Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. For 2.99 US dollars, two profiles can be added to an already existing account. Charges for more profiles, excluding the first two, have not been announced yet.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has raised charges on its streaming services. Back in October 2020, during the height of a global pandemic, the service saw an unprecedented amount of traffic. This pushed the company to raise its standard plan to $13.99. This year, Netflix raised the initial standard plan by almost two more dollars, increasing the package to $15.49 per month. This price change was immediately implemented for existing users, which frustrated many as the American cost of living is continually skyrocketing.
Netflix has also tried to eliminate password sharing in the past by providing two-step verification for its users. The two-step process began almost a year ago, making users input a code sent to their phone or email before signing in to the account. Though this provided an understandable frustration for longtime users, circumventing the two-step verification issue to allow others to use an existing account isn’t too tricky. Since this didn’t yield terrific results, Netflix is moving on to their second plan: charging customers for additional profiles.
Netflix, and other streaming services, are only becoming more powerful. With shares for the streaming company increasing over the pandemic years, Netflix has a substantial presence in the television and movie industries. Though the company is hellbent on having users pay for different profiles, the test runs in South America may push the streaming service to change its sudden aversion to password sharing.