Netflix is officially adding an option to extend your subscription to streamers outside your home, and users in some regions will be able to try it out as soon as next month. The new “add a home” feature will soon be available in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Netflix announced this week, an expansion of the “add an extra member” option tested in Peru, Chile, and Costa Rica earlier this year.
“It’s great that our members love Netflix movies and TV shows so much they want to share them more broadly,” Chengyi Long, Netflix’s director of product innovation, wrote in the feature announcement. “But today’s widespread account sharing between households undermines our long term ability to invest and improve our service.” The shade!
Netflix has been threatening users with additional password-sharing fees ever since it divulged in April that it had lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade. Whether or not this will actually help the company cobble back money lost in its subscriber dip remains to be seen.
Pay per home — In each test country, users will be given the option to add a home in their account settings for $2.99 per month (or 219 pesos in Argentina). Subscribers on the Basic plan can add one home, Standard subscribers can add two, and Premium subscribers can a maximum of three homes. Homes can be added or removed at any time.
Not exactly location-based — You might be wondering — we certainly were — how Netflix can possibly ensure subscribers aren’t just skipping past the $2.99 fee. Netflix says it’s monitoring IP addresses, device IDs, and general account activity to infer how many households are accessing a single subscription.
Netflix specifically mentions that subscribers will still be able to use their accounts while traveling, so this isn’t just about logging in from a new location. Netflix is instituting a two-factor authentication of sorts that requires devices not already associated with your household to input an emailed verification code before watching.
Netflix is willing to try just about any new revenue stream to bounce back from losing subscribers. An ad-supported membership tier — something Netflix execs have long decried — is set to hit the streaming service as soon as this year. But price hikes, alongside significant competition from streaming newcomers like HBO Max and Disney+, will make this an uphill battle for Netflix no matter its methodology.