Stranger things have happened at Netflix, but its new test to prevent password sharing is confusing users during its pilot program in Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru according to Rest of World.
What is Netflix’s new password sharing pilot program?
Netflix’s new password sharing pilot program is simple: it hits users who share passwords with an additional charge. The streaming service is defining a household as the immediate people a specific subscriber lives with. That means you can share your password with your roommates, but not your family member who lives across the country. For Netflix users who do want to share their account with those outside their home, they can add additional users for a fee. A spokesperson for Netflix told Gizmodo that the fee is around $2 in USD, but it varies from country to country.
Netflix began testing this new program in March and, according to Rest of World, user reaction has been mostly negative after the outlet spoke to a dozen subscribers across Peru. Some users have cancelled their Netflix subscription completely, while others have continued to share their passwords with no repercussions from the company. That said, Netflix confirmed to Rest of World that this test run is “progressive,” and that it was testing different versions across Peru, Cost Rica, and Chile.
Why is Netflix worried about password sharing?
It appears that Netflix has run into some financial trouble lately. After announcing a loss of over 200,000 subscribers in Q1 2022 (the first time after a decade of growth), the streaming company said it was considering adding ads to generate more revenue. Netflix’s stocks also tumbled 30%. The company partially blamed its stock problems on users sharing passwords. Netflix also downsized its Tudum staff through layoffs last month after only a few months of working for the blog, and axed upcoming projects before entering production.
Update 5/31/2022, 6:09 p.m. ET: This post has been updated with additional comment from Netflix, clarifying this isn’t a policy just yet, but a pilot program.