Dear Netflix, here’s a simple solution to your password sharing mess

Your mother lives in Ohio. You live in New York, but you share a Netflix bill. The same goes for the family whose children are in college and for the couple who live apart while one is stationed on a military base abroad.

I see your stories. I understand you. I’ve been in the same boat.

People are not happy with the start of Netflix charge members additional fees to share accounts. The company has been summoned for a Tweet from 5 years old: “Love is sharing a password.”

Even the card game Uno joined the Twitter roast to point out the turnaround. Swarms of vocal Netflix subscribers are venting on social media — Netflix’s comment sections are really feeling the burn — swearing to cancel their accounts and question why they’re paying for multiple screens.

Netflix dubbed viewers outside the primary household as additional members or subaccounts. In Canada, where prices are $16.50 for a standard plan and $21 for premium, the cost to add an additional member is $8 per person. If a single streaming service that costs $30 a month to stream on two or four screens sounds like a lot to you, I agree.

In the US, we still don’t know how much it will cost each month for additional members. If Netflix finally decides to tell us, I think it should also announce some smart discounts.

Netflix needs a cheaper subscription for students

Among those dissatisfied with the new policy are parents and their schoolchildren. If Netflix insists on charging for password sharing, I think it should offer a no-frills student subscription.

School kids love to stream, and they often do so on their parents’ accounts. Not as hangers-on, but as members of the household — even though their school is five states away. When we drop our 17 or 18 year olds off at college, I bet no one says, “Time for me to kick you off Netflix, you moron.”

Dorm Life: The moment they all found out they can’t log into their family’s Netflix accounts.

Coroimage/Getty Images

Instead of blocking kids from going to school far from home, Netflix should offer a student plan that’s priced lower than the basic ad-supported plan. Hulu, Paramount Plus and Spotify are doing it and proving that there is a blueprint.

All three platforms use SheerID to verify college and university students’ eligibility. Hulu charges eligible students $2 per month for its ad-based plan. Spotify’s Premium Student plan costs $5 a month with the first month free and the added benefit of free access to Showtime and Hulu with ads. Paramount Plus offers a 25% discount on the Essential plan for students that lasts four years, even if they graduate early.

If Netflix followed suit, it could hit the sweet spot between $2 and $5 a month to help a broke college student. The company rolled out its $7 ad-based tier in January, joining the ranks of Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, and others that broke that frontier. Adding a new subscription option aimed at students is quite within Netflix’s capabilities. If the streamer wants to keep their subscriber numbers up, why not?

read more: Best streaming service deals on Disney Plus, Hulu and more

Members of the military should also receive a discount

Together with students who will be away from home for months – or years – are service employees. It’s common for a loved one to be stationed abroad while sharing a single Netflix account with family in their home country or state. Instead of geo-blocking them or tagging them for account sharing fees, why not offer a military rate for active duty members? It’s something that streaming services like Disney Plus, Apple TV, and Discovery Plus offer customers.

Why does Netflix charge for sub accounts?

Netflix requires everyone to pay to play, especially if you don’t live under the same roof. From a business perspective, the company wants to capitalize on opportunities to make money on shared accounts. Intended to fund content creation and overall operations, it was discussed during the company’s 2022 earnings call. use another household,” the streamer wrote in its letter to shareholders. According to Netflix, more than 30 million of those who believe sharing is caring live in the US and Canada.

The additional charges are currently active in countries such as Canada, Spain, New Zealand and Portugal. In some regions, the additional charges also come with additional steps, such as verifying that your device is connected to your primary location or sending invitations to additional members to use your account.

I love Netflix, but none of the other major streamers do. And as Fox 9 TV host Jason Matheson points out, it’s wildly inconvenient.

Netflix customers in the US will soon figure out how to deal with password sharing charges on their accounts — or not.

Joan E Solsman/CNET

Netflix could lose out to the competition

With such a crowded streaming services market, any price increase, additional fee, and inconvenience can make one platform less necessary. Netflix is ​​aware that while it was a pioneer in this field, there are rivals that want to be at the top. Long ago it beat Blockbuster and showed how a business model can make or break a company’s survival.

Let’s not forget that content availability also plays a big role, because if there’s nothing to look at to justify the monthly rate you’re paying, it’s time to drop something. We rotate our streaming services to save money or if we run out of stuff to stream. If the extra cost is too much, especially in the US, Netflix should expect to see customers churning out for months at a time. That’s not to say that services like HBO Max and Disney Plus are immune from shutting down, as they’ve had to deal with frustrated customers over price hikes and show cancellations as well.

However, the cost of sharing passwords can be too high. Only time will tell if this new setup is worth it for Netflix, but it’s going to be an uphill battle to onboard customers around the world. One discount plan can help cushion the blow.

Netflix has not responded to a request for comment.






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