For years, Netflix tolerated password sharing, but that's over now. In Germany, too, the clock is running out for account free riders. They are supposed to pay.
Berlin/Amsterdam – Sharing a Netflix account with eight people from four households? That was once upon a time, because now Netflix is getting serious about its threat and throwing out all password dividers. From now on, the rule is: one household, one Netflix account. If you want to continue using a third-party account, you will now be asked to pay additionally. But it won't be quite as expensive as a full standalone Netflix account.
Nothing with Netflix: Streaming provider locks out password divider – 4.99 for additional Netflix account
For Netflix users in Germany who share an account across a household, things are getting serious. The streaming giant already pointed out to its customers last week that it will soon charge 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 hopes that this will generate higher revenues.
For years, Netflix tolerated password sharing, but that's over now. In Germany, too, the clock is running out for account free riders. They are supposed to pay. © IMAGO/Panthermedia
According to Netflix, users from one household should be able to access the shared account without any problems on the road or while traveling. The service refers to a "Netflix household" as a collection of devices that go to the Internet where you usually watch Netflix. If you watch on a TV, Netflix automatically assigns all devices on the same Internet connection to a household. The shared Internet connection seems to be a central feature. Netflix captures IP addresses, but not GPS data, it said.
Netflix locks out password dividers: Account sharing at Netflix now costs extra
How quickly Netflix will now crack down remained open for the time being. Discovered users with a foreign account should first be warned that their access will soon be blocked. What else is possible with the individual Netflix accounts now:
- If you have booked the Netflix basic account for 7.99 euros, you cannot add another user outside the shared household.
- With the Netflix subscription with advertising for 4.99 euros, no additional user can be added either.
- With the Netflix Premium subscription for 17.99 euros, up to four people can watch Netflix in one household. Two additional seats can be booked for 4.99 euros each, so that if there are two additional spectators, another 17.99 will be added to the 9.98.
- With the normal Netflix standard account for 12.99 euros, two people in one household can share Netflix access. With this model, it is envisaged that another additional space can be created for 4.99 euros.
In the premium account, which costs 17.99 euros, customers can pay for up to two "extra members". In the standard account, which costs 12.99 euros per month, only one additional space is provided. This is not possible at all 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. Further detail: The additional account can only be activated in the country of the paying account user.
Netflix account sharing: 100 million households share their Netflix password
The U.S. company assumes that around 100 million households use the service with login data of others. This is a high proportion of the 232.5 million paying customers in the past quarter. Often, for example, children continue to use their parents' account when they move out - or friends share access to save money. Netflix invests billions every year in video content, some of which is exclusive to the service.
Netflix had long tolerated credential sharing. In the meantime, however, there is generally an increased focus on profitability in the video streaming business, after many providers have been on the hunt for higher user numbers for years. However, none of the competitors is as consistent as Netflix is now taking action against account sharing. Netflix shares closed after the announcement with a minus of almost two percent.
Sharing Netflix password: Streaming provider expects more revenue in the long run
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 revenues than before, the service recently emphasized. This made them feel vindicated. Netflix has not yet commented on developments in other countries. Last week, the start of the procedure in the important US market was also announced. There, 7.99 dollars are due per extra member.
The crackdown on account sharing had been announced for some time, and Netflix tested it in several countries ahead of the now announced broad launch. In Europe, it was Portugal and Spain. RTL+ subscribers will also pay more in the future and dig deeper into their pockets. (jon/dpa)