Your days of sharing your Netflix password with your entire friends group are limited. Netflix has begun testing a new ‘add a home’ feature that will charge subscribers for password sharing outside of their physical homes.
Netflix will be testing the new feature in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, starting August 22.
The feature is only meant for TVs and not for mobiles, tablets and laptops. For TVs, a user will only be able to watch Netflix for up to 2 weeks at no extra charge, as long the primary user’s account has not been previously used in that location. After that time, the device will be blocked unless the fee is paid.
What this means: The user whose email has been used to register the Netflix account will be the 'primary home'. All other users using the primary person's Netflix account outside of their physical homes will be known as 'additional homes'.
For example, say that you have a Netflix account on your email ID and you share your password with your brother. You and your brother don't live in the same house. Say you live in Delhi, and your brother in Mumbai, and you watch Netflix on your respective TV sets in your respective homes in your respective cities. In this case, you are the 'primary home' and your brother is the 'additional home'. So far, you and your brother could both watch Netflix on your TV sets on the same password, by just adding an account.
Not any longer (if you are in the five afore-mentioned countries).
What happens now: Now, you and your brother have to use two different accounts to access Netflix on your TV sets, if you are in two different locations. Or - you add your brother's home as an 'additional home', take that plan, and basically - pay more.
Does it apply to devices other than TVs? Not so far. For mobiles, tablets and laptops; you can use Netflix while travelling.
A support page for Netflix Honduras explains that the feature will prompt users to pay additional fees every month their account is used on TVs outside their primary households.
The ‘homes’ will be detected by Netflix through IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity.
The amount that the primary user will have to pay is not yet known.
How many homes can you add? Up to 3 extra homes on the most expensive plan, the Premium plan that is, as of now.
How to add a home?
Which subscription plans does Netflix have in India? Nothing changes for you if you're accessing Netflix in India at the moment. We're not sure about later though. These are the current Netflix plans for India:
Why is Netflix doing this? On June 23 this year, Netflix announced that the streaming giant is laying off 300 people from its workforce, primarily in the US.
In May, the streaming giant had already laid off about 150 people from its US workforce.
In April this year, for the first time, Netflix had reported a drop in subscribers and the announcement caused the company’s stock to lose 70% of its value.
A new deal for Netflix: On July 13, Netflix announced that it will be partnering up with Microsoft for its first ever ad-supported, cheaper subscription offering. The new ad-supported subscription plan will be cheaper in comparison to Netflix’s current ad-free subscription plans. Netflix’s ad-free basic, standard, and premium plans will continue to exist after the new subscription offering is released.