Netflix paid-sharing accounts expected in U.S. soon
Netflix has a plan to deal with rampant account sharing: a program that lets subscribers pay extra to share their account with people outside their household.
The streaming giant introduced paid sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain on Wednesday. It was previously rolled out in multiple markets in Latin America.
While Netflix won’t say when paid sharing will come to other countries, some version of the plan is expected to be introduced in the U.S. in the next few weeks. Around one-third of Netflix’s subscribers live in the U.S. and Canada.
Netflix has more than 231 million paid subscribers in 190 countries. The Los Gatos, California-based company estimates that 100 million households are currently sharing their accounts with others.
“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account with features like profiles and multiple streams,” the company said in a blog post Wednesday. “While these have been hugely popular, they’ve also created confusion about when and how you can share Netflix.”
Starting Wednesday, Netflix said it will allow standard and premium subscribers in Canada, Spain, New Zealand and Portugal to set up an extra account for up to two people they don’t live with for an extra monthly fee. The monthly fee varies by country; in Canada, it’s 7.99 Canadian dollars, while in Portugal it’s 3.99 euros.
Netflix said it will also allow people who have been borrowing accounts to transfer their viewing history and other preferences to a new, paid subscription.
Netflix didn’t say what actions it will take if subscribers continue to share accounts outside their household. In a conference call with investors in January, Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters said the company is trying to be thoughtful and gradual in its rollout.
Disney cutting 7,000 jobs
Meanwhile, the Walt Disney Co. will cut about 7,000 jobs as part of an ambitious companywide cost-savings plan and “strategic reorganization” announced Wednesday by CEO Bob Iger.
The job cuts amount to about 3% of the entertainment giant’s global workforce and were unveiled after Disney reported quarterly results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts.