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Netflix announces “Profile Transfer” and hopes freeloaders will pay their share

Netflix has launched “Profile Transfer" a new feature that allows a user on an existing account to export their personal data to a brand-new account.

Experts say the company is likely trying to encourage freeloaders who are using shared accounts to start paying for the service out of their own pocket – and make Netflix lose less money.

The crackdown on account sharing seems gentle enough for now – Netflix is telling users they won’t lose any of their customized recommendations, lists of favorite shows, or other settings if they create their new personal account.

“People move. Families grow. Relationships end. But throughout these life changes, your Netflix experience should stay the same. No matter what’s going on, let your Netflix profile be a constant in a life full of changes so you can sit back, relax and continue watching right from where you left off,” Timi Kosztin, a Product Manager at Netflix, wrote in a blog.

The worldwide “Profile Transfer” feature has already been rolled out Monday night, and subscribers are being notified via email as soon as the option becomes available on their accounts.

Users can then go to their profile icon on the Netflix homepage and look for the “Profile Transfer” option. To start the process, you need to enter your email address and choose a new password.

Once the transfer is complete, subscribers won't lose all key data in the profile, according to Netflix. Besides, a backup of the exported profile will remain on the original account, and the owner will be notified of an initiated transfer.

The feature arrives just as Netflix, which was hit with two quarters of declining membership numbers, is getting serious in cracking down on account and password sharing.

In Netfix’s Q1 2022 earnings report, the streaming giant reported that about 100 million subscribers have password freeloaders.

And even though there are currently no repercussions for password sharing, back in March, the company rolled out the option for users in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru to create reduced-price “sub accounts” for up to two people they don’t live with.

In July, a “sub account” tool with an “add a home” feature was introduced in five Latin American countries. It lets users “buy” more homes to share the same account with.

Yet, already in March 2021, some Netflix viewers started receiving requests to enter a verification code sent to the account holder. Users could start streaming only after entering the correct code.

Of course, Netflix is looking for other ways to stop losing subscribers. Last week, a Basic with Ads subscription plan was announced – it will cost $6.99 per month, less than for current plans, but users will have to watch four to five minutes of ads per hour.

Netflix is still the largest streaming service in the world. However, the number of subscribers dropped by 1.2 million in the first half of the year.

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