It is a common practice for users to share their streaming platforms’ accounts with family and friends, causing the subscription cost to be way lower. However, Netflix is rounding up to finally tackle this issue by implementing a new system in which users sharing their accounts will be charged an extra fee.
In a statement, Netflix said it has always permitted account sharing by allowing users to create up to five profiles. However, it seems that this option is now not only hurting the company but actively preventing the North American platform to invest in new productions. In order to solve this, Netflix will begin a trial period to test the implementation of a system that charges subscription holders for each user using the platform outside of the home network.
This new system will have its first trial stages in three countries, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. Each user’s extra fee is expected to be worth about 30% of the value of a basic plan. The tests will only affect accounts subscribing to Standard and Premium plans.
This decision comes after the streaming platform began adjusting its subscription policy back in 2020: it ended free trials in many locations across the world. For most of the last decade, Netflix had offered free trials to new subscribers as part of their business strategy to attract new users and, simultaneously, boost their internal figures.
This strategy has been proved popular across the home entertainment industry, with different platforms adopting it, namely Disney+ and Amazon Prime. Other non-competitor streaming apps, such as Spotify and Apple Music have also implemented free service plans as a subscription strategy.
Evidently, the ‘try before you buy’/free trial approach is widely successful as it’s even utilized across other entertainment sectors such as the online gambling industry. To remain relevant and competitive, online casinos implement free spins no deposit promotions for their players, as well as other bonuses and other perks. Naturally, with the whole market of online casinos offering similar deals, the role of directories comes into its own: online guides such as BonusFinder clearly outline where users can find the best deals when joining a new casino.
With this in mind, it would be very peculiar if Netflix suddenly abandoned the very policies that once made them so appealing to customers. No free trial? No sharing accounts? What will become of Netflix if they really do adopt their proposed changes on a widespread level?
In addition to this, Netflix is also reportedly testing out another innovative feature that allows users to transfer profiles from and to different accounts. While this may seem like a minor detail, it is important to bear in mind that Netflix’s algorithm is designed to create a suggestions profile tailored for each viewer according to their lists, favorite shows, most-watched genres, viewing history, and recent searches. By allowing users to transfer their profiles into a new account, the streaming platform would be benefiting both users and the company as subscribers would be left satisfied and the algorithm unaffected.
This feature would prove particularly useful in case Netflix’s plans to tackle account sharing were to be implemented worldwide. For instance, streaming freeloaders would be especially encouraged to sign up for their own accounts if they could just create a separate account that could carry all their preferences over from their current profile. At a time in which the streaming wars seem to be at a turning point, this could be a particularly important tool to retain subscribers.
At the time of writing, there is no information regarding the duration of the new policy being implemented in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. It is also too early to say what the impact of this new policy will be on Netflix’s subscription numbers and if it will ever go on to become the norm. Nonetheless, users should keep an eye out for Netflix’s upcoming announcements but also on how other streaming platforms react to this.