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Netflix to test Add a Home feature for password sharing

Netflix is continuing to explore ways to deal with subscribers who share their passwords with friends and family members who aren’t signed up to the streaming service.

The company said on Monday it’s launching a feature called Add a Home, which asks subscribers to pay a little extra if they wish to share their Netflix account with others.

It follows a similar Add Extra Member feature for Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru that Netflix began trialing in March.

Starting next month, Add a Home will be available to Netflix subscribers in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. If either of the features is successful, we can expect something along these lines to be rolled out more widely.

Add a Home works like this:

Regardless of a subscriber’s plan, each Netflix account will be linked to one home where they can access Netflix on any of their devices.

If a subscriber wants to share access to their account with another household, Netflix will ask for an additional payment of about $3 per month. Subscribers signed up to the Basic plan can add one extra home, Standard subscribers can add up to two extra homes, and Premium subscribers can add up to three.

The deal also lets added users access Netflix on the move and while traveling so they’re not restricted to watching content at the designated households.

Netflix said that the new Add a Home feature will let a subscriber control where their account is being used.

The Add Extra Member option that Netflix started testing in March allows Standard and Premium subscribers to add sub-accounts for up to two people they don’t live with, also at an additional cost of about $3 per account.

In a post on its website on Monday, Netflix director of product innovation Chengyi Long said, “It’s great that our members love Netflix movies and TV shows so much they want to share them more broadly. But today’s widespread account sharing between households undermines our [long-term] ability to invest in and improve our service.”

Long added that Netflix wants to be “as thoughtful as possible about how we charge for use across multiple homes,” promising not to make changes in other countries “until we better understand what’s easiest for our members.”

Today is a big day for Netflix as the company is about to report its latest quarterly figures. Its last report three months ago revealed the company’s first dip in subscriber numbers in a decade, with a loss of 200,000 members over the previous quarter. Forecasts suggest it could have lost a further 2 million during the latest quarter. It seems unlikely that Netflix will include Add a Home and Add Extra Members users in its future subscriber counts, but the payments for those features will at least serve to increase its bottom line.

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Trevor Mogg
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