Netflix Launches Profile-Transfer Feature — Making It Easier for Password Freeloaders to Set Up Their Own Paid Accounts
On Monday, Netflix is launching Profile Transfer, a feature that lets anyone on an existing account migrate their profile to a brand-new account while preserving all of their personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List, saved games and other settings.
Profile Transfer, which Netflix says has been “much requested” by customers, will roll out to all members worldwide starting Monday. Users will be notified by email when Profile Transfer becomes available on their account.
In announcing the wide availability of the feature, Netflix said it’s intended to accommodate various life events, such as people moving out of a household or relationships ending, without forcing them to rebuild a profile from scratch. But it’s also a way to encourage Netflix viewers who have been mooching off someone else’s account (and aren’t in the same household) to turn legit.
Netflix developed the profile-transfer feature for a test launched in March in three countries — Chile, Costa Rica and Peru — to address illicit password sharing. In that test, members who share their accounts with people outside their households are able to pick lower-cost options to add those password-piggybackers as “Extra Members.” As part of that test, Netflix lets subscribers transfer user profiles to either a new account or an Extra Member account. In August, Netflix launched a separate test of an “add a home” feature (in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) to enable access for non-household users at a price lower than a full standalone membership.
According to Netflix’s terms of service, an account “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” The company has estimated that Netflix passwords are being shared in violation of its rules with more than 100 million non-paying households worldwide, including more than 30 million in the U.S. and Canada alone.
Netflix’s moves to try to wring revenue from password-sharers comes as the streaming giant hit a wall in subscriber growth — and in fact shed 1.2 million subscribers in the first six months of 2022. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter 2022 earnings Tuesday, Oct. 18, after market close.
To use the new profile transfer feature, hover over your profile icon in the dropdown menu on the homepage and select the “Transfer Profile” option. Users also can turn off Profile Transfer in account settings.
The streamer released an animation showing how Transfer Profile works:
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