Netflix is about to crack down on account sharing in the US

The company plans a "broad rollout" of its paid-sharing plan in the coming months.

Mario Anzuoni / reuters

Netflix is about to bring its fight against account sharing to the US. “In Q1, we launched paid sharing in four countries and are pleased with the results,” the company wrote in its Q1 letter to shareholders. “We are planning on a broad rollout, including in the US, in Q2.”

Since February, Netflix has offered paid account sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. The add-on allows primary account holders to pay an additional fee every month to share their Netflix service with up to two people outside of their household. As the main owner of an account, you can still watch on your phone and sign into the service on a device outside your home, like a smart TV at a hotel. Netflix also allows secondary users to convert their profiles into new accounts.

“A Netflix account is meant to be shared in one household (people who live in the same location with the account owner),” the company says on a support page. “People who are not in your household will need to sign up for their own account to watch Netflix.”

In the past, Netflix has estimated more than 100 million non-paying households have access to its service through free account sharing. The company says the practice limits its ability to invest in new content. It’s also aware the decision to restrict account sharing is likely to lead to cancelations. The expansion of paid account sharing comes on the same day Netflix said it would sunset its DVD rental business in September.