When it comes to the best streaming services, many of us will think of Netflix. The DVD rental service turned into a streaming magnate early on, with a host of legacy picks alongside their own Original material.
Recently, the company suggested that it would be taking a harder line with password sharing, as part of a crackdown on multi-user accounts. Despite widespread criticism of the move, the company has persevered, rolling it out in different markets around the world.
Now, it's coming to users in the USA and the UK. That means Netflix accounts will only be able to be shared by people in the same house.
The company has added a workaround, though. Users can purchase an add-on for one Extra Member per account. This user wont have to be in the same house.
For users in the UK, the extra member will cost £4.99 per month, on top of your usual plan cost. The Netflix site suggests it is only available to users on the Standard and Premium tiers – Standard with Ads and Basic tiers won't have the option.
Users in the USA will be stung for an additional $7.99 per month for additional members. Their site gives less information, so it's unclear if all plans will support additional members.
It's a bold move from Netflix. The move has created uproar before now, with critics suggesting it drastically devalues the offering. And while I can understand the position Netflix has taken, I'm inclined to agree.
Rival streaming services are getting stronger and stronger, with many users turning to services like Amazon Prime and Disney+. Neither of those has enforced such stringent measures, which is likely to increase their favour with consumers.
We'll have to wait and see just how dramatic the fallout gets, but one thing is certain – Netflix have raised the bar for themselves here. I'd expect to see a wealth of top-notch content coming from them in the next few months. If they don't, we could see a mass exodus.