It has been rumoured for a while that Netflix could roll out its password-sharing block to more areas and this controversial and unpopular update has now been officially confirmed. That means millions of users who currently enjoy bingeing on boxsets without paying a premium will have to reach for their wallets.
To help ease the pain, Netflix will offer an option to add paid sharing which is less expensive than taking out a full plan but it will still be a huge blow to the 100+ million users that currently enjoy things for free.
Confirming the news, Netflix said: “Later in Q1, we expect to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly. Today’s widespread account sharing (100M+ households) undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business.”
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Netflix is clearly aware that this change might not be popular and so it’s trying to soften the blow by adding features such as easy ways to transer profiles to a new account and being able to monitor devices using accounts.
“So we’ve worked hard to build additional new features that improve the Netflix experience, including the ability for members to review which devices are using their account and to transfer a profile to a new account. As we roll out paid sharing, members in many countries will also have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they don’t live with. As is the case today, all members will be able to watch while traveling, whether on a TV or mobile device.”
There’s currently no word on exactly which areas will be hit by these changes but we’re guessing that Netflix wants to clamp down on the process of sharing passwords across the world so don’t be surprised to see it arriving in the UK at some point in the future.
Along with announcing this password-sharing update, Netflix has also confirmed that it has bucked the trend by actually adding more subscribers to its service.
It was expected that Netflix could continue to see numbers dwindle but that’s not been the case.
The addition of exclusive movies such as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and the Harry & Meghan documentary appears to have worked with over seven million people signing up.
Things may have also been boosted by the new advert-supported plan that now makes watching content a little cheaper each month. Basics with adverts costs £4.99 which is £2 cheaper than the standard Basics plan.