In what Netflix says is an effort to move towards an individual relationship with users, the company is considering offering family plans.
A family plan would consist of multiple accounts within a family, which would allow each user within a family to stream different content simultaneously. The current Netflix plan allows only one stream of content at a time.
“Our $7.99-per-month plan is for one stream at a time, and later this year we expect to be able to offer consumers some account options to watch multiple simultaneous streams,” the company said in their Q1, ’11 (first quarter) Investor Relations FAQ. They went on to say “…our long-term goal is to evolve the Netflix service so that it feels more natural to have a personal account.” Part of the plan to do this includes “broadening” their Facebook integration.
The company said the change is due to the value of streaming to their business and the fact that these streams are being viewed on a variety of devices. Netflix has said they want to focus on developing an individual, rather than household, relationship with their customers. They believe that many households will see the benefit of doing so.
Netflix is still mulling over the idea of pricing for the new family plan. Just as there is a price increase to take out more than one Netflix DVD at a time, there will be an additional fee for this new plan. According to the company, they are still unsure what that additional fee will be.
There have been no definite plans announced for how the new account will be introduced or how it will work for users. However, Netflix has said that the goal is to have it available later this year.