Netflix is allegedly testing a new supplemental service called N-Plus, which could complement a standard Netflix account but for an additional price.
N-Plus would feature behind-the-scenes content for its TV programmes and films, as well as podcasts, user-generated playlists, how-to videos and more.
In a survey first noticed by Protocol, Netflix asked its users how they would feel about such a service, which it called a ‘future online space’.
‘N-Plus is a future online space where you can learn more about the Netflix shows you love and anything related to them,’ the survey said.
Introducing a new paid service can be interpreted as an attempt by Netflix, the world’s biggest streaming service, to help boost user numbers and revenue
NETFLIX USERS SLAM ‘GREEDY’ PRICE HIKE
Netflix users have slammed the ‘greed’ of the streaming giant for hiking subscription fees by up to £24-a-year.
The firm announced it was increasing its standard package – which allows two screens to access an account, as well as HD – by £1 per month, from £8.99 to £9.99, in January.
The premium package – providing four-screen access per account and Ultra HD – is bumped up by £2, from £11.99 to £13.99.
Netflix said the price hikes are essential to reflect the ‘significant investments’ it has made in new TV shows and films.
However, the move has angered many, with users rushing to vent their frustration on social media.
The number of households in the UK subscribing to Netflix grew to reach more than 15 million in the third quarter of 2020, according to Statista.
The Netflix survey also mentioned a feature that would let N-Plus subscribers build custom playlists and share them with friends via a link, posted to Facebook, for example.
Another possibility, according to Protocol, is N-Plus listing all the music from a film or TV show and giving people the ability to create and share playlists – just like music playlists created on Spotify.
Another part of the survey hinted at giving subscribers the power to even contribute to how Netflix content currently in development turns out.
N-Plus users could ‘learn about a planned show (pre-production) and influence its development with feedback before filming has finished’, it said.
From the survey, it sounds like N-Plus could also consist of some kind of encyclopedic database, akin to Wikipedia or IMDB.
The survey said: ‘You might get to N-Plus when you Google search for anything about a show or actors from a show you’re interested in, or you might find links to it in messages you get from Netflix, or there might be a link to it on pages inside the Netflix app.’
A Netflix spokesperson told MailOnline the firm doesn’t ‘have anything to add’ to what was revealed in the Protocol report.
It’s not known whether N-Plus would definitely roll out, how far along the development stage it is or even if it would be a free or paid service.
But according to Protocol, Netflix wants to have the rights to provide users with more than just TV shows and films.
Introducing a new paid service could be interpreted as an attempt by the firm to sustain its dominance in streaming and help boost user numbers and revenue.
Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service with 200 million global subscribers, is known for hit shows like The Crown, Stranger Things, Black Mirror and The Queen’s Gambit, all fuelled by its own production company.
However, it’s increasingly facing competition from the likes of Disney+, which rolled out a new channel in February featuring a wide range of content for older viewers, in an effort to show it’s not just tailored for children.
Netflix, a multi-billion dollar firm, is known for hit shows like The Crown, Bridgerton, The Queen’s Gambit. Pictured, Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown
At the end of last month, Netflix’s shares tumbled more than 10 per cent following cooling growth in paid subscriptions that had spiked during the start of lockdown.
Roughly 3.98 million people signed up for Netflix from January through March this year – down fourfold on the same period last year when first-time users turned to the service to help them through the pandemic.
Netflix hasn’t done much to make itself popular with existing subscribers recently, including price hikes and moves to restrict password sharing, a popular practice among families.
Since March, Netflix has been testing a feature that asks viewers to verify that they share a household with the account holder, in an effort to clamp down on sharing of passwords.
The message reads: ‘Start your own Netflix for free today.’ Netflix asks ‘Is this your account?’ and ‘We’ll send you a verification code’ with three options – ‘Email Code’, ‘Text Code’ and ‘Verify Later’. Viewers can delay the verification and keep watching Netflix. But the message may reappear when they open Netflix again
A small number of Netflix users are receiving a message asking them to confirm they live with the account owner by entering details from a text message or email sent to the owner.
‘If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching,’ the message says.
Some Netflix users who had seen the alert went into meltdown on Twitter, with one saying rival Disney+ had ‘won the streaming wars’.
However, security experts have applauded the move for promoting online safety, by reducing the likelihood that credit card details could fall into the wrong hands.