Netflix is a for profit business. And while they’ve most certainly recovered since their way botched Qwikster launch, simply acquiring customers probably isn’t the fastest or easiest way to do that.
So, I wasn’t surprised today when they announced a new streaming family plan for $11.99 a month. It allows customers to stream on up to four devices simultaneously, from one account. The original, and once sole subscription plan, allowed two streams at the same time from one account.
A few members with large families run into our 2-simultaneous-stream limit. To best serve these
members, we’re shortly adding a 4-stream plan, at $11.99 in the U.S., and we expect fewer than 1% of
members to take it.
It stands to reason that Netflix is passively (they might be trying to avoid any customer fall out from mismanaged PR and communication as seen from a time past) suggesting that consumers opt for this plan if they share their account beyond the confines of their home (i.e. friends). Moreover, Netflix is also taking steps to manage expectations, as the issued shareholder letter states that they only expect 1% of customers to opt for this plan. However, I’d expect that as time draws on, Netflix will prompt “heavy users” with this option, especially if they see an unorthodox number of devices and locations connecting to the service.
Netflix didn’t say when the $12 family plan will become available, but you can expect it “shortly.”