End of free sharing Netflix accounts in several homes in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
Netflix sharing

Sharing a Netflix account with family or friends who are not part of the same household will from now on no longer be allowed. Unless they pay for it.  

Users living in different households in Spain will no longer be allowed to share Netflix and the cost of the subscription if they have the basic or basic account with ads. However, subscribers with a standard or premium account can still share it with people they do not live with, one in the former case and up to two in the latter. Each of these sub-accounts gets a profile, at an additional cost of €5.99 per month per person. However, the ‘hitchhikers’ do have to be in the same country. 

In control 

In the statement, the platform’s director of product innovation, Chengyi Long, explained that users have to set the primary location of their account by linking their device or app to an IP address. This gives users “more control over who can access their account”. This information is useful not only for the customer, but also for the company. 

What if the account holder travels?  

Subscribers will be able to watch Netflix on their personal devices or log in to another TV (for example, in a hotel or holiday home), the streaming service explains. If they have a second home or often travel to the same location, they should open the Netflix app on their mobile devices once a month while connected to their primary location’s Wi-Fi network, and then do so when they arrive at the second location.  

‘Each Netflix account is designed for one household and subscribers can choose from multiple subscriptions with different features,’ Long writes. Despite the measure not being applied until now, the terms of use when the platform was contracted in reality already restricted usage to household members.  

Cogesa Expats

Transferring profiles  

Netflix does allow profiles to be transferred and details how to do so. Anyone using a shared account can move their profile to their own paid account, keeping their personal recommendations, viewing history, playlist, saved games and more. The company did not clarify what will happen if those users do not do so and try to continue accessing with the subscription holder’s password. 

Company’s share price 

Netflix saw its number of users increase by 2.4 million in the third quarter of 2022, reversing a first-half year of subscriber losses. In doing so, it won back customers in all regions thanks to summer releases and just before the launch of a cheaper tariff in 12 countries, the ad-supported basic tariff also reached Spain. 

The company also announced in October that it will further explore video games. This is a way to get users to stay on the platform longer. In just over a year, Netflix had already created 35 titles and another 55 are in development. Some of these will be based on its own series and films to fuel its offering and increase game consumption and playtime. 

More than 100 million households share account 

Currently “there are more than 100 million households sharing accounts, which limits our ability to invest in creating great stories, told with series and films of the highest quality” the platform said in its statement on Wednesday. A report by Barlovento Comunicación estimated that 61.3% of Spanish Netflix users share a subscription. In March, Variety reported an estimate by financial analysts Cowen & Co. that Netflix could make $1.6 billion in profits a year by charging a bonus for sharing accounts. The calculations assumed that half of those who currently access Netflix but do not pay would choose to pay, and half would do so with their own subscription. 

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