You’ll have to pay more to share your account.
A crackdown on password and account sharing by Netflix has been expected for a while, and now it’s here. It means you’ll no longer be able to watch a Netflix account in multiple locations without an extra charge.
What is Netflix doing?
From 23 May 2023, Netflix will require you to set up a Netflix Household, which will limit viewing from a Netflix account to those on the same broadband connection.
The idea is to stop people from sharing their login details with friends and family to watch in different homes. Those people will instead have to pay for their own Netflix account, or the original account holder can add people on as “Extra Members”.
It’s not clear just yet what it means for watching from your own account outside of your home, when travelling or on holiday for example. Netflix has said you can still do this if you’re part of a “household”, but you’ll probably need to connect that device to your main Wi-fi on a monthly basis to continue a connection.
How will Extra Members work?
Depending on your Netflix subscription, you’ll be able to invite zero, one or two additional users linked to your account.
Here’s how that works with each one, plus the base monthly price:
- Netflix Standard with adverts (normal price £4.99) – No Extra Members
- Netflix Basic (normal price £6.99) – No Extra Members
- Netflix Standard (normal price £10.99) – One Extra Member
- Netflix Premium (normal price £15.99) – Two Extra Members
They’ll get access to the same picture quality and features as the main account. However, they can only watch on a single device at any time. It looks like this is in addition to the limits that apply to the main account, which are as follows:
- Standard – 2 devices at one time
- Premium – 4 devices at one time
Extra members will have their own separate profiles and login details. You can migrate their existing ones over so they keep the viewing history.
However, you can’t add extra members to accounts you pay for via third parties, such as via your Sky bill.
It’ll be possible to change the extra member twice each month, so theoretically you could have up to three people using each slot, though obviously they’ll only be able to watch when they are linked to the account.
How much does Netflix Extra Members cost?
Extra Members aren’t free. The charge is £4.99 a month, per extra. Like a main subscription, it’s a rolling 30-day contract with no minimum term, so you can cancel at any time.
Importantly this extra charge is paid for and managed by the main account holder, which will mean their monthly subscription will increase.
- Adding one Extra member to a standard subscription will cost a total of £15.98 a month
- Adding one to a Premium account will add up to £20.98 a month
- Adding two to a Premium account will add up to £25.97 a month
What do you do if you’ve been using someone else’s Netflix?
The bad news is you won’t be able to keep watching Netflix, leaving you with three options.
- Set up your own account
- Ask the account holder to add you as an Extra member
- Go without
Setting up your own account will give you the most control and flexibility. As detailed above, prices start at £4.99 for Netflix Standard with adverts. If you want to ditch the commercials, it’s an extra £2 a month.
Asking to be an Extra member will work out more cost effective. At £4.99 you get the same picture quality as Standard or Premium and no adverts. You will be limited though to one profile – which might be an issue if you have a few of you in your home, especially kids.
It could also be the main account holder doesn’t want to officially add anyone, especially since it now means they’ll have to pay more each month – even if you agree you’ll send over the cash each month.
Personally I’d go with the final option, at least in the short term, and only sign up again when there’s something you want to see – and only pay for those months you actually use it.
What to do if someone is sharing your account?
As the main account holder you might need to set up your household as the primary location to ensure it’s your TV and not your mate’s that is linked (details further down the page on how).
Otherwise you don’t really need to do anything – that is unless the people you’ve been sharing with have either been giving you a cut of the monthly subscription or perhaps some in return, such as access to another streaming service they pay for. In this case it could mean you’ll end up paying more.
Even if they want to keep paying for an Extra member account, remember this is an extra cost. So say you were paying £10.99 before and splitting in 50/50 at £5.50 each. Now that cost would be £15.98, or £7.99 each. So an extra £2.50 per month, or £30 a year.
Or they might decide they don’t want to contribute any more, so you’ll need to pay the full amount. Or they may ask you to contribute to the service they share with you.
Have those conversations sooner rather than later, but don’t pay more than you can afford – or think is worthwhile.
If you’re not going to keep sharing, it well worth considering downgrading your account to a cheaper one since you might not need multiple simultaneous streams anymore.
Swapping from Standard to Basic will save £4 a month, and moving from Premium to Basic is £9 less.
Is it time to ditch Netflix?
I think this huge change to how Netflix charges is the kick many of us will need to reappraise just how much we watch it. There are still some great shows out there, but it’s not the only place with quality content.
And with so many streaming services available, along with normal TV channels and on-demand services, it’s impossible for anyone to get value for money from multiple services at the same time.
Since they all allow you to cancel and rejoin on a monthly basis, it’s better to pick and mix. Sign up for one, maybe two at a push, and focus your viewing (and binging) on that service. Once you’ve exhausted everything, or something you want to see starts elsewhere, ditch it and switch to another one.
Netflix can become part of that cycle. If you’ve previously shared, I wouldn’t be running out to pay my own cash until there’s something I really want to watch.
How to add Netflix Extra Members
You’ll need to go into your account settings and add the Extra member to your account. Once done you can invite someone to be an Extra member, or you can select an existing profile from your account. They’ll need to register their own login details.
How to set up a Netflix household
Even if you’re not currently sharing your account, or don’t intend to add Extra members, you’ll need to register where your home network is – though only if you watch Netflix via a TV.
Once you do this, all devices on the same broadband network will be linked to your “household” and you can watch them as normal. The full instructions are on the Netflix site.
If you don’t watch on a TV there’s no need to actively set up a Household on your account, though it could be one is automatically set up by Netflix. You can change this if it connects to the IP address for someone you’ve been sharing with previously.
What about VPNs?
Since you have to be on the same broadband IP to link to a household, it could mean you won’t be able to watch via a VPN, which is useful for watching Netflix programmes only available in other countries.
However, it could be that these are treated in the same way as if you were on holiday, so you’ll hopefully be able to connect as along as you do check in at home once a month (to be confirmed).