Netflix rolls out new fees for password sharing in Canada


Netflix is rolling out its new system to crack down on password sharing in Canada, one that will see customers who share their accounts across multiple locations pay an extra $8 a month.

The streaming giant says it will begin notifying Canadian users today by email about limitations on who can access their account outside their household.

The details of the proposal are already online.

An ad-supported plan that can be used by one person on one device in one location will cost $5.99 a month.

The same basic plan without ads will cost $9.99 a month.

Under what the company calls its “standard” plan for $16.99 a month, a user can watch on two devices at the same time, but they must be in the same physical location. If they want to watch in different locations — at a parent’s home and a college-aged child’s dorm room, for example, or between two members of a couple who live apart — there will be an extra fee of $7.99 a month.

The “premium” plan allows four users to watch at once, for $20.99 a month, but it will also have an extra $7.99 fee if those users are in multiple physical locations.

Netflix did not say when it would begin enforcing the new rules, but in its most recent earnings report it said it planned to roll out the new rules worldwide some time before the end of March.

100 million password sharers

Netflix has roughly 250 million paying customers around the world, and the company says about 100 million of them currently share their passwords.

Technology analyst Ritesh Kotak says the company is banking that most of those people will be willing to pay for the service because they understand the value.

“How many of them are now going to stop subscribing or are they just going to cut off their friends and family from getting access?” he told CBC News in an interview Wednesday. “They’ll end up purchasing an [account].” 

“I think that there’s going to be an initial dip, short term, yes, but long term, I think that they’re going to be OK,” he said.

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