Netflix announced its long-awaited password-sharing guidelines on Wednesday, beginning with users in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain, the latest step in the company’s well-publicized crackdown.
Users in those countries will be asked to set a “primary location” for their Netflix accounts and will be allowed two “sub accounts” for users who do not live in that home-base household, according to the streaming company.
In addition, the company will charge a monthly fee for each additional user: CA$7.99 in Canada, NZ$7.99 in New Zealand, 3.99 euros in Portugal, and 5.99 euros in Spain.
“Today, over 100 million households share accounts, limiting our ability to invest in great new TV and films,” Chengyi Long, the company’s director of product innovation, explained.
Netflix is testing password-sharing restrictions outside of the United States before implementing them domestically in March. The price in Canada could foreshadow what the programme will eventually charge in the United States.
The changes announced on Wednesday will be implemented immediately, along with a new “Manage Access and Devices” page that will allow users to control who has access to their accounts.
If an account has more profiles than it is permitted to have, the user can transfer the extra profiles to a new account and avoid paying the overage fee.
All of the personalised recommendations and viewing history from the original account will be carried over to the transferred profiles.
Netflix plans to revisit and improve the new account management page in response to user feedback.
The user guidelines come after the streamer reported a massive increase in fourth-quarter subscriber numbers and announced the resignation of former CEO Reed Hastings.
As subscriber growth in its U.S.-Canada region stalled, the company declared last fall that it would restrict password sharing.