Following its first drop in subscribers, Netflix has been working on ways to recover. One of those ways is a possible ad-supported tier, even though Netflix was previously adamant that this would never happen.
Another avenue the streaming service is considering will be familiar to DStv subscribers – cracking down on the sharing of account passwords. Back in April, in a letter to shareholders, the company estimated that a third of everyone using the platform was doing so for free. That’s a lot of money to miss out on.
Netflix – Not for sharing
Unlike DStv’s decision to limit an account to a single screen, Netflix is trying a more subtle approach. Perhaps too subtle.
According to a report by Rest of World, Netflix users in Peru, Chile, and Costa Rica are the first guinea pigs for paid-for account sharing. A Netflix spokesperson, Kumiko Hidaka, told The Verge that “A Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household.” But there’s a bit of ambiguity there as to just what constitutes a household.
Netflix’s terms and conditions have always stated that sharing of account credentials was forbidden. But in the past, it’s been rather lax about enforcing that. Now, however, the company is defining a household as people who live with the subscriber.
Read More: How Disney+ stacks up to Showmax, Netflix, and the rest of South Africa’s streaming services
Giving your account details to someone that lives elsewhere is going to cost you. In South American countries right now, that additional cost is $2, (about R30). That price could change when the feature is rolled out locally, but it’s rather less than signing up for a new account.
Additionally, there have been very mixed reports on how the rollout in the test countries has gone. Many subscribers were not made aware of the policy change, according to the Rest of World report. Some users also reported that they simply ignored validation requests. They were able to continue sharing their accounts as normal, to no ill effect.
It doesn’t sound like it’s going particularly well for Netflix over there, but that’s what tests are for. Let’s hope when this ‘feature’ eventually rolls out here it’s more successful than Disney+’s South African launch.