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Netflix is to charge people extra if they use their account in more than one place.
The company will ask people to pay an extra subscription if use their account in more than one “home”.
Netflix will scan users’ devices and their account activity in an attempt to find out when their logins are being used in more than one location and require them to pay $2.99 for each one, it has announced.
It will try and find shared accounts by using “information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity”, Netflix says, and encourages people to keep all devices in one home on the same internet connection.
An exception is made for “travelling” – but users can only visit a given place once per year, Netflix says in its support documents.
The feature will be rolled out from August as a test in select countries initially. But Netflix suggested that it could become more widespread in the future.
Since Netflix launched, it has been relatively lax about more than one person using a given account, or using that in various places. While its rules do officially forbid people from sharing accounts, in practice it has shown little interest in stopping people from doing so.
In recent months, however, Netflix has suggested that it will be cracking down on such behaviour. First, it launched a new tool in some countries that ruled out sharing logins and demand that users pay for “extra members” on their account.
That feature is also being in South America, but in different countries. The “add member” tool has been launched in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, while the restrictions on where the app can be used will be in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
All of the changes come as Netflix’s growth has rapidly tailed off, with the company losing subscribers and seeing its revenues fall. In its announcement, it said that sharing of accounts between different homes “undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve our service”.
Netflix has also been increasing prices, adding an ad-supported tier and sacking staff in an attempt to bring its revenues back up again.