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If You Use This Popular Streaming Service, Prepare for Added Fees Next Year

The platform just announced that many users will pay more to access shows and movies.

It wasn't too long ago that canceling your cable package in favor of a streaming platform was a way to save some serious money. But as new on-demand services have grown in number over time, it's becoming more difficult to avoid an expensive rebound in your monthly bills. And besides the splintering of services that have spread content over more subscriptions, the platforms themselves are beginning to raise their prices. Now, one popular streaming service has announced that it will add more fees by early next year. Read on to see if your monthly binging budget is about to get thrown out of whack.

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Many streaming services are beginning to charge more and change their offerings.

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It might not seem like so long ago that streaming services were seen as cutting-edge technology that would shake up how we get our favorite shows and movies. But by now, the industry appears to be well out of its early adopter phase and into a new era of more realistic cost structures.

In August, Disney announced it would be increasing the price of its Disney+ streaming service. As of Dec. 8, customers paying the current $7.99 per month for ad-free shows and movies will have to upgrade to a new premium service that costs $10.99 a month to watch without commercials, representing a 37.5 percent price increase, the Associated Press reports. Changes are also coming for the company's majority-owned Hulu platform on the same date. Subscribers who now pay for the service's ad-supported tier will see a price increase of $1, bringing their monthly bill to $7.99, CNN reported. Hulu with no ads will also increase by $2 to $14.99 monthly.

Other major streaming platforms have also recently been forced to course correct. Earlier this year, industry trailblazer and one-time leader Netflix saw its fortunes slide into reverse after it lost roughly 1 million subscribers between April and July, the BBC reported. The news came months after the company's executives signaled a significant change in a memo sent to employees, announcing that they planned to bring commercials to the streaming service with the addition of an ad-supported subscription tierThe New York Times first reported.

A popular streaming platform is adding extra fees for some users as of early next year.

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Now, another price change is coming for streaming subscribers. During a quarterly earnings call on Oct. 18, Netflix announced that it would soon start charging its subscribers extra monthly fees for anyone who shares their password outside of their household. The company said the new policy would go into effect sometime early next year.

Until recently, the company has remained relatively lax in enforcing how many people can share an account. But the streaming service has seen increased competition from major studios releasing their own platforms in recent months, which has changed the playing field amid the company's own fears of its future financial health, CNet reports.

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The company has been testing out the new extra user system in some countries.

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While specifics of the new subaccount system weren't released, Netflix has been testing out sharing fees in Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru for roughly six months, CNet reports. Currently, users in those countries are charged for each user listed on their account who does not watch the service from their household.

Netflix also did not release specifics on how much the fees will cost subscribers when it rolls out next year. However, the system currently being tested in Latin America charges "one-quarter of the basic rate" per extra user, Engadget reports. This would place the price somewhere between $3 and $4 for users in the U.S. if the same system is rolled over.

Netflix will make it easy for those sharing a subscription to split their account profiles.

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Even though the imminent password-sharing fees mark a massive departure from the company's policy, Netflix will still make it easy for users to settle into the new system. In a press release on Oct. 17, the company also announced a new Profile Transfer feature that "lets people using your account transfer a profile—keeping the personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List, saved games, and other settings—when they start their own membership."

Netflix says the feature is already rolling out globally and that it will notify subscribers by email when it becomes available to them. However, profiles will only be able to be transferred to a new account and not to an existing one, the company confirmed to Engadget.

And even if users cannot score a heavily-discounted subaccount from a friend or family member, they'll soon have another option. On Nov. 3, Netflix will officially launch its first ad-supported tier that will drop the price of a subscription to $7 a month, Engadget reports. The new plan will be available in 12 countries, including U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and Spain.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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