Netflix may just be one of the most important entertainment evolutions in human history. It’s cheap, much like online Blackjack it offers hours of quality entertainment, and it is available on demand. Which is to say; Hollywood has probably been sweating some pretty heavy bullets since Netflix came along. It’s revolutionised the way we consume media, and it’s even gone so far as to produce its own shows.
For the most part, Netflix has also done extremely well by its subscribers. Prices have remained steady, there has been an all but overwhelming flow of new content offered, and likewise, complaints have been all but non-existent. That is, up until recently. Rumours are that Netflix is about to make some pretty big changes to its account tiers, and if initial reaction is anything to go by, they may well be about to lose their spotless reputation.
Account Sharing Changes
The rumour comes from Italian blog Tutto Android, and has already sent Netflix subscribers into a frenzy of pitchfork grabbing and flaming torch lighting. According to Tutto Android, the days of entire families enjoying all the viewing pleasure they could ask for on one Premium account may be coming to an end.
Netflix is said to be introducing a new account tier, referred to as Ultra. The Ultra tier will grant access to an account from four devices, each getting Ultra HD quality, and operating separately from one another. The drawback being that lower tiers will be getting their shared access brutally slashed. Basic will still allow access on one device, Standard down from two to one shared devices, and Premium down from four to two. Only the new Ultra tier will allow account sharing for up to four devices.
If this wasn’t enough, the Ultra tier subscription will also be a bit heavy on the wallet, at least in comparison to how Netflix has normally been priced. Indications are that an Ultra tier account will cost $19,80, where premium was previously $13.99. Ouch.
Thankfully, these changes are far from official at the moment, and seem to only be a passing thought from Netflix. So, put down your pitchfork, and extinguish the flaming torch. For now. It seems that this new tier system will be introduced only in Italy, on a test basis. Clearly, depending on just how many mobs of angry Italian Netflix users are formed, the new account tiers might be dropped, or carried over to other regions.
So, what is the reasoning behind this change in services offered by Netflix? The answer is probably a very simple one; Netflix are judging just how much users value their shared account privileges. In the case of one account having four shared access points, this will really only appeal to families. At least for the most part.
Netflix are likely taking into consideration that four shares of the same account, actually happening simultaneously, are not that common. At least not in the same household, at the same time. Which is to say, it’s likely not something that will bring a household to its knees, if sharing is cut from four, down to two. If the four-device access is absolutely essential to a household, chances are they will be willing to fork over a few extra bucks in order to avoid family riots about what to watch on two devices at any given moment.
At least that’s the theory. Let’s keep our eyes peeled for flaming torches in Italy, so we’ll know exactly how well the Netflix price increase experiment is going!