Netflix trialling charging extra for sharing accounts with friends and family

The company says the cost is stopping them investing in new movies and television shows.
The company says the cost is stopping them investing in new movies and television shows. Photo credit: Getty Images

The days of sharing Netflix passwords with family and friends outside your household may soon be coming to an end for many customers.

The streaming giant has announced it is trialling new functionality that will allow you to share your password - but at an extra cost.

Chengyi Long, director of product innovation at Netflix, says sharing accounts between households is impacting the company's ability to invest in new movies and television shows.

"We've always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans," she said.

"While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared."

Long said the company had been working on ways to allow members to share passwords securely, but with a premium.

It is now trialling that in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru to "understand the utility" of the feature "before making changes anywhere else in the world".

The prices being charged in those countries convert to between NZ$3 and $4.50.

Subscribers who share their login details will be notified about the new option, the company said. 

Members "may be prompted to verify their account only if a device outside of their household logs in to the account".

As well as the extra fee for sharing passwords, the company is also trialling the ability to transfer profiles.

"Members on our Basic, Standard, and Premium plans can enable people who share their account to transfer profile information either to a new account or an Extra Member sub account - keeping the viewing history, My List, and personalised recommendations," Long said. 

This isn't the first time Netflix has tried to eliminate account sharing. In 2021 some users were asked to verify logins using the account holder's email address or mobile phone number.

If the response didn't come within a short amount of time, viewers were asked to create their own accounts