Netflix starts charging for account sharing in the US

You'll need to pay $8 per month for users outside your household.

Matoo.Studio on Unsplash

Netflix has been quick to act on its plans to charge for account sharing in the US. The streaming service is notifying American customers that they'll need to pay $8 per month for viewers outside of the household who want to share the account. As in other countries, you can add one extra member with the Standard plan, and two with the Premium tier. You can convert profiles into paying extra member accounts.

Netflix account sharing rolled out in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain this February after a trial program in Latin America. You can still watch outside of your home, but you'll have to establish the household's boundaries either manually through a smart TV app (which looks for devices on the same WiFi network) or automatically (based on IP addresses, device IDs and activity). Netflix says it doesn't know your exact location, but it may ask you to verify a device if you're traveling or otherwise using a different connection.

Netflix has been direct about the reasoning behind its initiative. The media giant has pinned some of its recent financial troubles on users borrowing passwords to effectively get free service. Sharing Netflix accounts theoretically converts some of these people into paying customers, even if it also risks sending them into the arms of competitors like Amazon and Disney.

There have been criticisms of this approach. It could prove a hassle for college students that previously used the family account for in-dorm viewing. And while $8 per month isn't a high price for a streaming service, there are some viewers who may simply drop Netflix altogether. However, it's doubtful the company is going back. It said it was "pleased" with the results from the February launch, suggesting that paid sharing is here to stay.