Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

Summary:With Netflix seeing an incredible surge in streaming video activity from its client base, the company is mulling over ways to deal with the single-account, single-stream model it currently offers. GigaOm went digging through the company's Investor Relations section of its Website and found that Netflix is considering how to monetize offering multiple simultaneous streams to subscribers.

With Netflix seeing an incredible surge in streaming video activity from its client base, the company is mulling over ways to deal with the single-account, single-stream model it currently offers. GigaOm went digging through the company's Investor Relations section of its Website and found that Netflix is considering how to monetize offering multiple simultaneous streams to subscribers.

Though it hasn't decided a precise course of action yet, the company is pondering providing additional concurrent streams for an account for an extra monthly fee -- much as Netflix has done with DVD plans that let you have more titles out at a time. Another idea being floated is having multiple accounts for a single household, much like cell phone family plans.

Netflix states its goal is to work toward something like "personal" accounts that would mean parents and kids wouldn't have to fight over what to stream and why their queues look like those of someone suffering from multiple personality disorder.

"[A]s streaming has become central to our business, we believe there may be an opportunity to change our focus from a household relationship to an individual relationship, since streaming is viewed on personal devices, such as phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as on shared large screen televisions."

Of course, Netflix will be determining how to extract the most profit from dealing with even more streams from its servers. Will the magic price point be an extra $2.99 per month for an additional stream, or $4.99? GigaOm reports that some enterprising users have already figured out how to work around the one-account, one-stream limit, so it's not surprising that Netflix plans to roll out a family plan or some other solution sooner rather than later.

Do you wish you could have more than one stream for your Netflix account? If so, how much extra would you pay per month for each additional simultaneous stream? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Software Development, Browser, Mobility

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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