You won't have to worry about your kid's hankering for anime, or your spouse's penchant for foreign horror films, throwing off your Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) recommendations anymore.
The leading video service is finally rolling out the individual profiles feature that it was playing up during the E3 conference two months ago.
Netflix is now allowing users to create as many as five profiles per account. Being able to select individual users will make sure that the proven Netflix recommendations engine is serving up accurate picks for viewers.
It's convenient. It's long overdue. It's also a great move on a few different levels.
Let's start with Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) . The leading social networking website is a pretty big deal for Netflix, and not just because CEO Reed Hastings sits on Facebook's board or occasionally breaks news on his public Facebook profile page.
The sharing of information on Facebook was deemed so important, that Netflix successfully lobbied Congress to overturn an archaic law that prohibited the practice last year.
It's not just about the sticky nature of getting its nearly 30 million domestic streaming customers choosing to open up about their viewing habits. It's also about the viral nature of social sharing. Talking up streamed movies and TV shows gets non-subscribers interested in the service, and fellow subscribers more engaged.
The new profile feature allows every user to have his or her own viewing habits pop up on the individual Facebook feeds.
Naturally, the Netflix service will become even more useful for families, roommates, and friends sharing the same account if it's serving up recommendations that are custom-tailored to their viewing habits and ratings.
Then we get to the ultimate payoff, and that's higher revenue per account. The basic $7.99 a month account is limited to two simultaneous streams. Earlier this year, the company introduced an $11.99 plan that allows as many as four people to be streaming from the same account. It didn't seem likely to gain a lot of traction at the time, but it should now that multi-user accounts have an incentive to stream more often.
The new profile feature -- available in the coming days across most of the devices that folks use to stream the platform -- may have its roots in enhancing the customer experience, but Netflix knows that a better service ultimately results in a better business.
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