For some time now, many subscribers have enjoyed Netflix's bouquet of scintillating movies thanks to an unofficial password-sharing practice amongst users.
Intuitively, the fact that this trend does no good to Netflix's business interests is known to all.
Based on this unwelcome trend, Netflix has decided that between now and April Fools' Day, more or less, it will commence a policy that enforces rolling out fees for cases of accounts being shared beyond a single household.
This will be the sequel to Netflix's initiative of testing account-sharing charges in Latin America as an aftermath of its global membership declines for the first time in a decade.
So, is this some sort of notice to all 'illegal' subscribers? Yes!
The freebies era is about to wind up. Netflix has decided to start implementing this new policy in the next couple of months.
This means that if you are in the habit of sharing passwords with relations and cronies, expect Netflix to charge your account.
This policy institutes a system that adds fees for "extra member" subaccounts when people outside one household use the membership.
This is a fallout of years of being indifferent about password-sharing resulting in fortune falls.
Netflix was then forced to look into options for "monetizing account sharing".
With this development, Netflix is launching cheaper subscriptions that will be supported by advertising all in the hope of enticing more people to pay (even if not quite much).
Netflix's stellar success in the video-streaming space (with years of soaring subscriber growth) induced other
Hollywood major media companies to sink billions of dollars into building their own streaming projects.
In this context, the stage was set for streaming wars occasioned by a wave of new services such as HBO Max, Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Peacock, and Apple TV Plus.
This flood of streaming options, no doubt, introduced stiff competition that has complicated Netflix's dominance days.
Netflix is now therefore forced to rethink its business strategies to remain afloat, by pursuing strategies it had dismissed for years, including an account-sharing crackdown.
Netflix recently announced its intentions to start launching the account-sharing fees before the end of March this year, targeting a few countries for a start, after which the full, global rollout will happen in a couple of quarters.
The streamer is yet to specify which countries will be first.
It has not also specified how long the new fees remain enforceable whenever it fully launches worldwide.
"We're ready to roll those out later this quarter. We'll stagger that a bit as we work through sets of countries," Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters said last week.
"But we'll really see that happen over the next couple of quarters."
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