Streaming giant Netflix has officially started its password-sharing crackdown in the United States as it rolls out additional rates for other users of the same profile.
The move came months after restrictions were implemented in Canada, Spain, Portugal, and New Zealand.
In a press release, Netflix said only those who are in American households may share passwords. U.S. subscribers who are from another residence must pay an additional $7.99 (P445) monthly fee, if not transfer their profile to a new membership.
This fee is cheaper than the $10 (P557) monthly basic ad-free plan but higher than the ad-supported $7 (P390). Standard plans cost $15.49 (P864) monthly, while premium plans cost $20 (P1,115) in the U.S.
“Your Netflix account is for you and the people you live with in your household,” the streaming giant said on its website. "We recognize that our members have many entertainment choices. It’s why we continue to invest heavily in a wide variety of new films and TV shows—so whatever your taste, mood, or language and whoever you’re watching with, there’s always something satisfying to watch on Netflix."
To certify that members sharing one account are from the same household (and would not need to sign up for b-accounts), users would have to set up the primary location of their account and manage who can access it from the app. If a user fails to do so, Netflix will automatically set up the location based on the account's IP address and device ID.
Users will still be able to watch Netflix from their personal devices or log into new TVs at hotels or other locations by using one-time access codes.
A survey from market research company Parks Associates found that 40% of consumers in U.S. internet households share credentials, with some 100 million people watching Netflix using other people's account, USA Today reported.
Investment bank Citi estimated that streaming services lose about $25 billion a year, with Netflix accounting for about a quarter of that lost revenue.