Netflix is adding millions more subscribers to its initial test of password-sharing options. The streaming giant is rolling out the new fees to battle the scourge of households worldwide that are using accounts covered by other subscribers. In March, when it announced its plans, the company claimed that more than 30 million households are sharing passwords, blaming the practice for slow subscriber and revenue growth now and for the near future.
In May, it rolled out its “add extra member” plan to subscribers in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru but the test resulted in confused subscribers who, among other problems, had difficulty deciphering the definition of “household” or understanding what options they were eligible for.
In the latest expansion, Netflix is adding Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Subscribers in these countries will be offered an “add a home” feature.
New subscribers will be allowed one Netflix account—whatever subscription—to watch the service on any device, For an additional $2.99 per month (219 pesos in Argentina), subscribers can watch in additional homes with Basic members being allowed to add one extra home, Standard up to two extra and Premium up to three extra.
Subscribers will be able to watch Netflix out of home but just on laptops, tablets or smartphone. An additional feature that allows subscribers to control where their account is being used—and remove homes at any time from their account settings page—will added soon.
In a blog post, Chengyi Long, director of product innovation for Netflix said “We value our members, and recognize that they have many entertainment choices. So we’re working hard to make great TV shows and films, and to be as thoughtful as possible about how we charge for use across multiple homes. We will not make changes in other countries until we better understand what’s easiest for our members.”
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Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.