Netflix to start charging US customers an extra $8 for sharing accounts outside the house

Netflix on Tuesday outlines how it intends to crack down on the rampant sharing of account passwords in the US, its latest bid to reel in more subscribers to its video streaming service amid a slowdown in growth.

In an email to its 70 million US customers on Tuesday, Netflix said it would limit viewing of its programming to people living in the same household. Those who subscribe to Netflix’s standard or premium plans — which cost $15.50 US to $20 US per month — will be able to allow another person living outside their household to use their password for an additional $8 per month, a $2 discount from the company’s standard stand -alone plan.

The email doesn’t make it clear from which date the new rules will be in force, but it typically rolls out price increases and other service changes as of the customer’s next billing cycle.

Subscribers will still be able to watch Netflix when they are traveling. The company based in Los Gatos, Calif., has more than 232 million customers around the world.

The company recently rolled out new rules for password sharing in Canada.

The long-anticipated move, telegraphed by Netflix nearly a year ago, seeks to end a practice that the company allowed to go unchecked for years while its streaming service was attracting subscribers in droves. At that time, management had little incentive to risk riling customers by reining in password sharing.

While Netflix looked the other way, an estimated 100 million people worldwide were getting passwords from family and friends to freeload on TV series such as The Crown and films such as All Quiet On The Western Front. Those passwords were funneled through Netflix’s paying customer base which generated the bulk of the company’s $32 billion US in revenue last year.

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