Netflix is delaying its controversial password-sharing plans until later this year. The feature was meant to roll out in March already but hasn’t happened yet. During the company’s latest earning report on Tuesday, Netflix says it has shifted the launch of the crackdown to late in Q2.
Netflix has been running trials on the password-sharing crackdown feature across Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. The tests kicked off in February this year. The company says it is pleased with the results and as a result, the feature has helped build more subscribers for the service.
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Netflix says that Canada specifically has shown a positive adoption rate. So much so that its subscriber base is “now growing faster than in the US”. This is likely due to the fact that subscribers can no longer share accounts with people who live outside of their homes forcing everyone to sign up for Netflix.
The company has offered a reprieve for countries where the tests have been ongoing. For example, different locations offer the option to pay “a little extra” to add one person outside of your household to your subscription.
Netflix tacks on a $6 charge per person per month and you can only add up to two people per account extra. The additional users can only be added to Netflix Standard and Premium plans too.
According to Netflix, the delay is needed to help the company set up proper plans for subscribers who are travelling and want to watch their content on the go. At the moment, if you travel outside of your household, say perhaps travelling for work, the password-sharing feature will lock you out of your account unless you pay the extra charge. This is something Netflix wants to address.
“We felt based on those results, it was better to take a little bit of extra time, incorporate those learnings and make this transition as smooth as possible as we can for members.”
But Netflix doesn’t really need this feature at all. The company recently reported an increase in subscribers. It added 1.75 million new members to the service in the first quarter of 2023. The subscriber base now sits at 232.5 million users worldwide. This growth is thanks to Netflix’s new ad-supported tier which rolled out in the United States.
Netflix says the new ad-supported tier is growing faster than its Basic plan without ads even though the content library isn’t as complete as the other plans on the service.