|Title||Netflix tests pay-per-user service||Date||2014-01-05||ReadCount||1837|
The new pricing model could see people pay-per-user
The subscription video-streaming site Netflix is testing a new pricing model based on the number of people who can operate an account.
It means selected customers pay more if increased number of people log in to the account at the same time.
Users would pay $6.99 (£4.26) a month to use one screen to watch a TV show or film. This would rise to $9.99 if three screens were being used simultaneously.
The company said it is was only testing these options for some new users.
Currently subscribers pay a monthly fee of $7.99 for a standard service that allows them to watch different shows or movies on two screens at once.
There is also an upgraded-account version available for $11.99 where customers can watch across four screens. When Netflix's chief executive Reed Hastings announced this option in April he said he expected fewer than one per cent of customers to sign up.
Netflix currently has 40 million subscribers around the world. Its growth has been helped by its self-commissioned programmes including the political drama House of Cards and prison series Orange is the New Black.
Kevin Spacey features in Netflix drama House of Cards
Its most recent figures indicate that Netflix users watched five billion hours of films and television shows in the three months to September 2013.
At the time the company said it was looking to invest more in developing original television shows and was considering a move into movie-production.
Some analysts have suggested that the new pricing model is the firm's attempt to curb account sharing and to combat piracy.
The new pricing plans are only being tested on some new users who will see a screen displaying the options when they sign up to the service.
"Not everyone will see this and we may not ever offer it generally," a Netflix spokesman told the BBC.
"Typically tests take anywhere from several weeks to several months. Whether we roll out any of these options depends on the test results."
Chris Green, an analyst with consultancy firm Davies Murphy Group, thinks allowing customers to chose different price points will prove popular.
"There will be demand from technologically adept families who are frustrated by only being able to run two concurrent streams", he said.
"But there will also be households that won't mind getting a cheaper deal as the cost of these products can add up month by month."
He also commented that other firms which have tried different pricing models had been successful including the US-based streaming service Hulu and BSkyB's Sky Go.
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