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Sharing your Netflix password with someone for free outside your household may soon be a thing of the past.
In a news release posted to its website Wednesday, the streaming giant announced that it will begin testing ways to make users sharing an account outside the household pay for the additional members.
“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans,” the company said in a statement. “While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared.”
The improper sharing of accounts outside the household has affected Netflix’s “ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members,” the company said.
The company’s terms of service say an account “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household,” a rule often flouted by subscribers.
The test run of new prices to “add an extra member” on standard and premium plans will take place first in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.
Those who have been illicitly sharing passwords in those three countries can transfer profile information to new accounts or to the “extra member” subscriber accounts.
“We recognize that people have many entertainment choices, so we want to ensure any new features are flexible and useful for members, whose subscriptions fund all our great TV and films,” Netflix said. “We’ll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world.”
Last year, Netflix tested a prompt to have password freeloaders re-enter their credentials to keep using the service. The nudge was intended to get those sharing passwords to create their own accounts.
Kalhan Rosenblatt is a reporter covering youth and internet culture for NBC News, based in New York.
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