Netflix Testing Feature That Charges Fee for Sharing Your Account

Unauthorized account-sharing is "impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members," the streaming giant said.

Dan Avery Former Writer
Dan was a writer on CNET's How-To and Thought Leadership teams. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, Architectural Digest and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.
Expertise Personal finance | Government and Policy | Consumer affairs
Dan Avery
2 min read

Netflix is launching a program to require people who live in different households to get their own account or pay for a subaccount.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you've been sharing your Netflix password with all your friends and family, those days may be numbered. On Wednesday, the streaming giant unveiled a new feature to crack down on people who don't live together using the same account.

The ease of logging in to Netflix has "created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared," Chengyi Long, Netflix director of product innovation, said in a blog post. "As a result, accounts are being shared between households -- impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members."

Long said the company has been working on a program that would enable members to share their accounts outside their household "easily and securely, while also paying a bit more."

Over the next few weeks, the feature will be tested in Costa Rica, Chile and Peru.


For an additional charge, Netflix standard and premium subscribers can add up to two additional subaccounts to their memberships.


Subscribers on Netflix's standard and premium plans will be able to add "Extra Member" subaccounts for up to two additional people they don't live with, for the equivalent of $3 in Costa Rica and Chile and about $2.10 in Peru.

Each subaccount will have its own profile and password.

To facilitate the change, subscribers at all levels can enable people who now share their account to transfer their profiles, either to a new account or a subaccount.

A Netflix spokesperson told CNET the program was devised to address "persistent account sharing between households."

Individuals looking to use their own account away from home can still do so, but they may be asked to confirm the device with a verification code.

It's not clear if or when the new feature will debut in the US. Per Netflix's announcement, "We'll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world."

In 2021, Netflix grew to 221.8 million subscribers, up almost 10% from the year prior. It added 8.3 million subscribers in the fourth quarter alone, just shy of its goal of 8.5 million. 

In January, Netflix increased its prices in the US, boosting a basic monthly subscription from $9 to $10, the standard plan from $14 to $15.50 and its premium plan from $18 to $20.