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Netflix to add “family” streaming plan with four simultaneous streams


Courtesy Casey Johnston, Ars Technica

Netflix announced plans to introduce a "family" tier of the streaming service that will allow up to four devices to play video from one account simultaneously, according to a letter to shareholders released Monday. Netflix stated that large "families" are often cramped by the two-simultaneous-stream limit, so the company will add an expanded plan to better serve the groups of people who are trying to watch three or more things at once and are definitely blood relations of one another.

Netflix experienced a small dust-up in the fall of 2011 when some users hit a glitch that seemed to limit them to a single stream at a time. The actual limit for a regular $7.99 plan is two simultaneous streams.

While Netflix claims that it expects "fewer than one percent" of its members to take advantage of the plan, clearly enough of its customer base has run afoul of the streaming limit to merit a new plan in Netflix’s arsenal.

The four-stream option will be priced at $11.99 a month. Netflix did not specify when you and your eight or ten closest friends, I mean family members, will get access to the plan. The company only said that the option will be added "shortly." The question until then—who will pay that four extra dollars?

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