Extra fee: Netflix cracks down on account sharing


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Status: 05/24/2023 03:21 am

For years, Netflix tolerated the sharing of passwords between users. But that’s over now – also in Germany. Account free riders will in future have to pay an extra 4.99 euros per month if they want to continue using someone else’s account.

Things are getting serious for Netflix users in Germany who share an account across a household. The streaming giant has warned its customers that it will soon be charging extra money for this.

For a person who does not live under the same roof as the paying account holder, 4.99 euros per month should be due. Netflix is ​​hoping for more revenue from this.

Schedule still unclear

According to Netflix, users from the same household should be able to access the joint account on the go or while traveling without any problems. The service describes a “Netflix household” as a collection of devices that connect to the Internet where Netflix is ​​usually viewed.

If you watch on a TV, Netflix automatically assigns all devices on the same Internet connection to a household. The shared Internet connection thus seems to be a central feature. Netflix said it collects IP addresses but not GPS data. It was initially unclear how quickly Netflix would take action. Discovered users with a foreign account should first be warned that their access will soon be blocked.

The US streaming service Netflix wants to take tougher action against the free sharing of passwords.

Netflix: Around 100 million free riders

In the premium account, which costs 17.99 euros, customers can pay for up to two “extra members”. In the standard account, which costs EUR 12.99 per month, only one additional slot is provided. This is not possible with the basic account for 7.99 euros. At 4.99 euros, an extension in Germany is just as expensive as the cheapest Netflix subscription, where the service can be used with advertisements. Another detail: The additional account can only be activated in the country of the paying account user.

The US company assumes that around 100 million households use the service with login data from others. That’s a high proportion of the 232.5 million paying customers in the past quarter. For example, children often continue to use their parents’ accounts when they move out – or friends share access to save money.

At the start of the pandemic, streaming services like Netflix were among the winners. Now the growth is stalling.

Netflix has long tolerated sharing

Netflix had long tolerated the sharing of access data. In the meantime, however, there has generally been an increased focus on profitability in the video streaming business after the many providers had been hunting for higher user numbers for years. However, none of the competitors is taking action against the sharing of accounts as consistently as Netflix is ​​now doing. After the announcement, Netflix shares closed down almost two percent.

Netflix expects that the number of users will initially decrease with the action against free riders. In Canada, for example, there are now more paying users and higher income than before, the service recently emphasized. This made you feel validated. Netflix has not yet commented on developments in other countries. The start of the procedure in the important US market was also announced on Tuesday. There, $7.99 per extra member is due.

The crackdown on account sharing had been announced for some time, and Netflix was testing it in several countries before the broad launch that has now been announced. In Europe it was Portugal and Spain.

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