It was a big day on Tuesday for Netflix. The company announced that it would be shutting down its DVD and Blu-ray mail rental service in September after 25 years. However, it also announced a general timetable to add new password-sharing fees in the US, along with some improvements for its recently launched ad-based subscription tier.
As part of its regular quarterly financial update, Netflix stated that the US market, and other countries, that access its streaming service will see the long-reported account-sharing fees sometime in the second quarter of 2023. The controversial plan to make people who share a Netflix account but don't live in the same household to pay an extra fee started in February in four countries as a test.
Netflix says that while there was an initial "cancel reaction in each market" when it launched the password-sharing fee, it claims that subscriber growth rebounded soon afterward. It stated:
For example, in Canada, which we believe is a reliable predictor for the US, our paid membership base is now larger than prior to the launch of paid sharing and revenue growth has accelerated and is now growing faster than in the US.
There's still no word on the exact pricing for Netflix account sharing in the US and other markets. If it is successful, it's possible other major streaming services could add their own password-sharing fees down the road.
In somewhat better news, Netflix says that its recent cheaper ad-based subscription tier has been a success so far in the 14 markets where it is live. As a result, the company will roll out improvements to those subscribers that include increasing the video resolution from 720p to 1080p and allowing for two concurrent streams on one account instead of just one stream.