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Netflix to expand paid password sharing in Q1

If you’re still freeloading on someone else’s Netflix account, it might soon be time to pay up. Netflix, in its quarterly earnings statement, said today that it plans to expand its “paid sharing” scheme by the end of March 2023.

The gist, for those who haven’t run into the changes already, is that one Netflix account is good for one home. But you’ll be able to buy additional homes for a few bucks a month — less than it’d cost for a full Netflix account.

Netflix app icon on Apple TV.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Netflix says that more than 100 million households continue to share accounts, and that “undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business.” For context, Netflix reported having 231 million subscribers at the end of 2022.

While the plan “to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly” wasn’t defined any better than that — Netflix says “members in many countries will also have the option to pay extra” — it’s been available in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru for some months, with the ability to add additional homes for about $3 a month. There was a slightly different program in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras aimed at shifting additional users to their own accounts.

And Netflix says that users of the main account or the additional households will still be able to access the service while traveling.

Netflix said it actually expects its numbers to drop a little in the near-term because of the paid sharing system rolling out more broadly.

“As we work through this transition,” Netflix said, “and as some borrowers stop watching either because they don’t convert to extra members or full paying accounts – near term engagement, as measured by third parties like Nielsen’s The Gauge, could be negatively impacted. However, we believe the pattern will be similar to what we’ve seen in Latin America, with engagement growing over time as we continue to deliver a great slate of programming and borrowers sign up for their own accounts.”

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