Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge
Netflix is about to kick your best friend off your account — unless you pay for them to share your account, that is. On Tuesday, Netflix revealed the details of how its crackdown on password sharing will affect viewers in the US and how much it will cost to keep extra people on your account.
If you have the Netflix Standard plan that costs $15.49 per month, then you have the option of adding one extra member who can use the service outside your household for $7.99 extra each month. Anyone who pays for the Netflix Premium package with 4K streaming has the option of adding up to two extra members, but each one will still cost another $7.99. Netflix subscribers on its two cheapest plans (Basic or Standard with Ads, which cost $9.99 and $6.99 per month, respectively) don’t have the option to add extra members to their account at all.
Netflix subscribers in the US who share the service “outside their household” will get an email about the company’s password-sharing policies beginning on Tuesday, according to the blog post.
The email you might get from Netflix.
Netflix’s paid password-sharing experiments have been happening for a while, and it expanded its tests to Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain in February. The password-sharing crackdown was originally supposed to hit the US at the beginning of this year, but the company pushed that launch back again in April.
A support page explaining the new setup describes “extra members” as someone who will have their own password and profile, paid for by the person who “invited” them to join. Extra member accounts also have their own set of restrictions. They have to be activated in the same country, they can only view or download content on one device at a time, and they can’t create extra profiles or log in as a Kids profile.
Your Netflix household, according to the company, is set based on where you watch Netflix on a TV and what IP address that device uses. That location can be reset using the app on a TV or a device connected to a TV by choosing to confirm or update your household and responding to a verification link sent to the account’s listed email address or phone number.
We use information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to determine whether a device signed into your account is part of your Netflix Household.
We do not collect GPS data to try to determine the precise physical location of your devices.
If a Netflix Household hasn’t been set, we will automatically set one for you based on IP address, device IDs, and account activity.
You can always update your Netflix Household from a TV by connecting to your internet and following the steps above.
Netflix used to be very pro-password sharing — in March 2017, it famously tweeted, “Love is sharing a password.” (That tweet, as of this writing, is still up.) But in early 2022, it started testing ways to end the practice and get people to pay for accounts using Netflix outside of the account owner’s household.
Maybe the new tweet should be, “Love is asking your friend / partner to pay for sharing your password.”
In April 2022, the company revealed that it lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade, and it said at the time that more than 100 million households were getting Netflix through password sharing.
As it’s tried to turn that subscriber growth around, cracking down on password sharing is just one of many levers the company has pulled. It also introduced an ads plan, which has nearly 5 million global active users and has invested heavily in games as an extra perk for subscribers.
Disclosure: The Verge recently produced a series with Netflix.