What The Tech: Netflix Fees For Extra Homes

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Netflix has had a difficult 2022 and the streaming giant is notifying some subscribers that if they share their account and password with people outside their homes, they’ll have to pay an extra fee.

A few years ago Netflix made it clear it didn’t care if you share your account with someone else, but that’s changing. Netflix is rolling out something called “extra homes” to customers in other countries.

Here’s how it is going to work: Netflix will allow streaming under plans only in the household that’s paying for it. If someone logs in to that account from somewhere else, the account holder will be charged for an “extra home” which will cost an extra $3 a month for each “extra home”. The extra fee will be tacked on to the plan rate the subscriber is already paying.

Subscribers outside the U.S. are receiving emails outlying the plan, saying it will identify the primary residence by its IP address and the device IDs used to stream content.

To address people using their Netflix account while on vacation, Netflix says that’ll be okay for up to 2 weeks as long as that address hasn’t been used more than once per year. After 2 weeks, the notice continues, and the TV will be blocked unless the subscriber pays for the “extra home”.

Netflix has also added a line for all subscribers when creating a new user on an account, that it
must be for people who live with you.

What the new plan doesn’t address is people watching Netflix from a coffee shop they frequently visit, or their office though it might be covered if you use a device that’s also used frequently inside the home. The notice is pretty vague on many of the questions subscribers will ask.

According to ars Technica, the notification went out to Netflix subscribers in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, with Netflix saying it would evaluate the rollout before making changes in other countries.

This change will impact families who share their Netflix accounts with their children away at college or living on their own. Netflix clearly hopes people currently using someone else’s Netflix password will sign up and pay for their own account.

Netflix also announced earlier this month it will launch a lower-priced subscription that will include advertisements during shows and movies.

Netflix is expected to say more about its plans for the future in a Q2 earnings report after markets close Tuesday afternoon.