“Make no mistake, I don’t think consumers are going to love this initially”. That’s what Ted Sarandos, co-director of Netflix, explained to the Wall Street Journal when he mentioned charging for account sharing on his platform.
According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, the end of this practice is scheduled for January 2023, from January 1 in the United States. Until now, a subscriber to Netflix’s most expensive service could share their account with other users from the same family, in the same household.
Yes, but now, although aware that this account sharing has largely crossed the boundaries of the home, Netflix has let it happen. Until now.
A third of users use account sharing
Earlier this year, at a meeting with company executives, boss Reed Hastings called for an end to this costly practice for the company.
According to his estimates, 100 million users watch their programs using a loved one’s password, without it being part of the same household. This represents about a third of the platform’s subscribers based on the 223 million subscribers announced by the company.
Above all, in 2022, after two years of Covid favorable to its growth, Netflix recorded two catastrophic quarters with the loss of millions of subscribers. Historical.
Faced with the downward curves of its number of paying subscribers, Netflix has therefore implemented several growth levers: the diversification of its offer with gaming and sports, the addition of a subscription with advertising and… the end of sharing of account.
How does it work and how much does it cost?
Netflix had even considered adding content available for rental (VOD) payable per unit, as Amazon can do on Prime Video. In this way, he played on the fear of users who pay for others to see attached users touch their portfolio by renting content. Eventually, the idea was scrapped for fear of rendering the service unreadable.
For those taking advantage of account sharing, two solutions will therefore be possible: either continue to use the codes of a third-party account, in which case it will be necessary to go to the cash register. According to the latest information from a source very close to the matter, Netflix will ask a price close to the cheapest offer for each user going through another account. One way to encourage them to opt for a separate subscription.
Nice, Netflix has even developed a feature to transfer a profile to a new account to facilitate this transition.
See you in 2023 to see to what extent these new provisions will apply. With the risk, not insignificant, that subscribers flee.