Netflix has revealed plans to crack down on shared memberships at the turn of the year. The streaming giant will look to monetise account sharing following successful trials in select regions of South America.
Adopting the same strategy globally, the streaming giant will begin identifying shared passwords and prompting users to create paid sub-accounts for users located outside of the subscriber’s household.
A transfer tool will allow for migration of watch lists, recommendations and viewing history, and Netflix is no doubt hoping users currently ‘borrowing’ an account will opt to switch to a new £4.99 Basic with Ads tier, launching November 3.
“After listening to consumer feedback, we are going to offer the ability for borrowers to transfer their Netflix profile into their own account, and for sharers to manage their devices more easily and to create sub-accounts if they want to pay for family or friends,” said Netflix during its latest earnings call.
“In countries with our lower-priced ad-supported plan, we expect the profile transfer option for borrowers to be especially popular.”
Following a historic subscriber drop earlier this year, Netflix hopes to “reaccelerate growth” with its more affordable ad-supported tier and is already showing signs of bouncing back. 2.4 million new subscribers were added this quarter, slightly exceeding forecasts, and Netflix anticipates a further 4.5 million new users in Q4.
Earlier this year, Netflix estimated an astonishing 45 per cent of its install base was benefiting from shared passwords. Exactly how the firm will identify shared accounts is unknown, though prior attempts asked viewers to enter a verification code sent through email or text when unauthorised access is detected.
How stringent the clamp down will be may rest on subscriber growth – Netflix has been happy to ignore account sharing during years of rampant growth – but in the face of serious competition from the likes of Disney and Amazon, converting shared accounts to paid users is now a pressing concern.