Netflix Expands Test of ‘Add-a-Home’ Password-Sharing Fee

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has expanded its testing of a new feature designed to curtail the sharing of accounts outside the home. 

Netflix began testing its “add extra member” feature in May in Peru, Costa Rica and Chile, charging account owners a fee of around $2.99, depending on the region, for every individual outside their home using their Netflix password.

The testing reportedly didn’t go well, with local users confused about the nature of what constitutes a household, among other things. 

On Monday, Netflix announced additional testing of something it calls "add extra home" in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

In a blog posting, Netflix codified the scheme in more detail than its earlier Latin American trial. For example, it outlines what each tier can do: "Members on the Basic plan can add one extra home, Standard up to two extra, and Premium up to three extra."

Users can watch their Netflix account on the road, but only through computers and mobile devices. 

Importantly, if users don't pay for their out-of-home constituents’ usage, those outsiders will be blocked from using the account. 

Netflix said recently that as many as 100 million of its customers globally are sharing passwords with friends, family and hangers-on not living in the same building as they are. 

With its subscriber growth in recession, the subscription streaming provider has pledged to finally do something about this. 

“Today’s widespread account-sharing between households undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve our service,” Chengyi Long, director of product innovation for Netflix, blogged. ▪️

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!