Netflix saw rapid changes in 2022. Shortly after announcing a new ad-supported tier, Netflix changed its mind about Extra Home, a feature it introduced in early 2022.
Here’s what you need to know.
Netflix is ending its Extra Home feature
A Netflix email informed subscribers about the end of the Extra Home feature. The company announced it would be phasing out this feature on October 18, 2022 — less than four months after its launch. The email read:
In our quest to provide the best possible experience, we have decided to retire this feature, along with the Manage Homes feature, effective October 18, 2022. Any additional houses you may have purchased will be removed from future bills
Additionally, Netflix Help Center has been updated accordingly and now it says:
People who don’t live in your household must use their own account to watch Netflix.
Netflix doesn’t automatically charge you for sharing your account with someone who doesn’t live with you. However, if the borrower tries to use your account, they will receive alerts and verification alerts, and you will be asked to make a change of address.
Starting in 2023, Netflix will crack down on password sharing by charging additional fees, but the company is already beginning to test its plans in Latin America. according to a CNET report:
… this scheme is already being tested in some Latin American countries and charges a fee for each additional member, which is about a quarter of the price of a “normal” Netflix plan.
If Netflix outsources its Latin America policy to the US, each additional member sub-account in the US could potentially cost as much as $4 per month.
Why is Netflix Extra Home ending?
It has been reported that Netflix will take password sharing more seriously in 2023. This is a sign to its subscribers that more passwords are being enforced.
A strong driver of this policy is the streaming wars with other streaming giants like Amazon and Disney+, which have impacted Netflix’s revenue and subscriber growth. Meanwhile, Netflix’s base of over 220 million subscribers has financially underperformed as over 73 million subscribers worldwide share Netflix passwords.
As such, Netflix is cracking down on password sharing after realizing it will help generate more revenue from existing subscribers.
How Netflix will enforce the change
Your IP address allows Netflix to match your account to your actual home. In other words, Netflix probably knows where you live.
As a MeriStation Report explained:
From now on, the company will verify accounts based on IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity. This can cause a problem for those who use VPNs to access content that is not available in their region: should the IP address change unexpectedly, users will have to verify all their information to continue using the service.
To verify your device, Netflix shares a four-digit code with the email address or phone number associated with the primary account holder. This code must be entered on the requested device within 15 minutes.
That’s just part of Netflix’s plans to stop password sharing. The company also launched a new subscription plan. Netflix Basic with Ads offers some of Netflix’s best content for $3 less. The limitation, as you can probably tell, is that you have to look through ads before and during a show or movie.
Additionally, Netflix introduced Profile Transfer, a feature that allows you to transfer your profile and all of your data to a new account. This makes it easier for people who share an account to subscribe to Netflix without losing important data.
The party is over
As Netflix has noted, people move, families grow, and relationships end. So it could be said that the party for password free riders is largely over. Perhaps password sharing won’t end entirely. But Netflix wants to make it harder and more expensive.
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