More competition is better for consumers, right? Well, not always. The rise in the popularity of streaming platforms also paved the way for more options, which, admittedly, makes for better quality content across multiple subscription services. Unfortunately, this also meant having to maintain multiple subscriptions for those who want to keep up with the latest from their favorite shows.
A common solution employed by subscribers is sharing passwords, despite not sharing the same household. Even though this is technically not allowed as detailed in Netflix's Terms of Service, they haven't really enforced it - until now.
In a post on the company blog, the streaming platform is looking to find a way around account sharing "with individuals beyond your household." Netflix's director of product innovation Chengyi Long explained that sharing accounts between households have impacted Netflix's "ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members." Specifically, what Netflix plans on doing is to up charge subscribers for "sub-accounts," starting with users in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.
According to Long, Netflix will introduce two new features to solve this issue: letting users pay for sub-accounts and an option to convert existing user profiles into individual accounts or sub-account.
Netflix plans to roll out these updates in the next few weeks in the aforementioned test countries to test the "utility of these two features". It's still unclear how long Netflix will test these new features and when they'll be hitting other countries. For now, if you live in Chile, Peru, and Costa Rica, you might want to pay attention to your subscription if you're sharing it with your friends and family outside your house.
Once the poster child of streaming services, Netflix has slowly evolved into a "villain" of sorts over the years. Even though it continues to be home to some of the world's most popular shows and movies like Red Notice, The Adam Project, and Squid Game, a growing list of competition has forced consumers to go elsewhere. It also doesn't help Netflix's case that it continues to implement price increases while one of its biggest competitors, Disney+, is taking steps to lower the price of its monthly subscription albeit with a big advertising caveat.
Ultimately, we all knew that Netflix was going to crack down on password sharing - it was always a matter of when and not if. Freeloaders should probably start preparing to say goodbye to their parents', ex's, or friends' shared credentials.