In August, Netflix introduced a new fee of $3 in parts of Latin America which they called, “Add Home”, presumably to crack down on password sharing, not to mention a drop in subscribers globally. However, there was a backlash from users in Argentina and other Latin American countries but how that actually affected Netflix’s decision is anyone’s guess. Our Netflix account is what they call Premium and according to their website, we are entitled to watch on four supported devices at the same time, so we created two extra profiles for other members of the family. However, when this new measure was introduced in August the “four supported devices at the same time” became null and void and we had to pay for the extra “homes”. This is particularly painful in Argentina due to the draconian exchange controls which whack us with a 75% tax because the transaction is ostensibly in US dollars, even though it is quoted and charged in pesos.
What isn’t clear is whether we will have to continue paying this extra fee now that Netflix has ditched the “add home” scheme in Latin America. Even more confusing is that Netflix’s own help page states very clearly that the premium plan allows us to watch on four supported devices at a time.
But here’s the rub. We may be able to watch on four different devices at the same time, but in the end, it comes down to what Netflix terms as “households”. In other words, a family member living somewhere else will clearly have a different IP address, which is precisely what the company wants to crack down on. To be fair, the company has been fairly lax on this issue over the years, but with increased competition from the likes of HBO, Disney, Apple, and others, Netflix is losing subscribers and therefore, revenue. As a result, from next year, the “add household” fee will be rolled out globally as far as I understand. What this means is those different people at separate physical locations using the same account will need to pay an extra fee, or at least the account holder will.
In retrospect, one can hardly blame Netflix for taking this approach if the same account is being used from four different locations (and therefore not gaining extra subscribers), but the company really does need to be extra clear on this issue. “At the same time’ does not mean “at the same time and in different places”.