A disappointing shake-up of Netflix's rules could mean people will be charged for sharing a password.
Many people rely on the cheap Netflix subscriptions they share with their family members and some with their friends.
As pockets tighten in the coming months due to a cost of living squeeze in which money is becoming a problem, luxuries like Netflix and other streaming sites remain important as people look for a break away from their daily struggles.
The new rules, currently being trialled abroad, could change this for some who might not be able to afford even minor extra expenses at the moment.
Netflix's major shakeup involves them testing technology to see if people are breaking its rules, due to 'confusion' about its current terms and conditions.
So what are the rules, will they be brought in in the UK and how will they change?
What are the new Netflix rules?
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New technology tried by Netflix is designed to discourage people from sharing their account passwords by charging them a fee.
The change means that people will be charged if the company detects people at multiple addresses logging into the same account.
Typically, people have been very liberal with who they share their Netflix password with and the streaming giant does allow multiple users on one account. However, this is supposed to apply to just one household, rather than a policy that should encourage people to give out their account details at will.
Netflix has long known about people doing this and, though it is actually against their company rules, they have tolerated it for some time.
Netflix said: "We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans.
"While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared. As a result, accounts are being shared between households — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members."
There will also be two new features to address the rule changes and one is that a person can transfer their information to a new account, keeping their recommendations and list, but paying for the subscriptions themselves.
The other is that members on standard or premium plans can add sub-accounts for up to two people they do not live with. This is being trialled in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru and costs $2.99 in Costa Rica.
We don't yet know if this change will be rolled out to the UK, but a £2.99 a month charge would see a subscriber on the most expensive plan paying £21.97 a month for two people living elsewhere.
Are Netflix prices increasing?
Netflix prices are increasing, with the basic and standard plan going up by £1 per month.
The plans will increase to £6.99 and £10.99 respectively and premium accounts will go up to £15.99.
A Netflix spokesperson said: "Our updated prices reflect the investment we have made in our service and catalogue and will allow us to continue making the series, documentaries and films our members love as well as investing in talent and the creative industry.
"We offer a range of plans so members can choose a price that works best for them."
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