Disney Plus Joins Netflix in Tightening Password Sharing Practices

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.02 - 2024 11:11 AM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Disney Plus Joins Netflix in Tightening Password Sharing Practices.

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The landscape of streaming services is undergoing a significant shift, with Disney Plus announcing plans to curb password sharing, mirroring actions previously taken by Netflix. This move marks a growing trend among streaming giants aiming to protect their subscription models and enhance revenue streams.

Netflix's crackdown on password sharing last year, which included measures to prevent account sharing outside of a subscriber's household and introduced options for transferring profiles or adding extra members for a monthly fee, has proven to be a lucrative strategy.

The streaming titan reported a notable surge in subscriber numbers, adding 13 million new users by the end of 2023, underscoring the potential financial benefits of such policies.

Inspired by Netflix's success, Disney Plus is setting its sights on similar restrictions. Disney CEO Bob Iger highlighted in August 2023 the company's intention to address account sharing and forecasted the implementation of monetization strategies in 2024. Canadian Disney Plus subscribers were the first to receive notice of these impending changes, set to commence on November 1, 2023, indicating a phased approach to enforcing these new rules across different markets.

While specific dates for the rollout of these measures in the United Kingdom and the United States remain unconfirmed, indications suggest it's a matter of time before they are implemented. Reports also emerged of Hulu, a Disney-owned service, alerting its US subscribers about upcoming restrictions on account sharing, expected to begin in March. The implications for Disney Plus customers, particularly those bundled with Hulu and ESPN+ subscriptions, are still being clarified.

The anticipated enforcement strategy may involve monitoring IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to identify the primary account holder's location and define the 'household.' Users outside this designated household could face restrictions or lose access to the service altogether, as hinted in messages sent to Canadian subscribers.

As the streaming industry continues to evolve, Disney's move to tighten password sharing reflects a broader shift towards safeguarding content and ensuring subscribers adhere to terms of service. This development signals a changing tide in how streaming services manage account access, potentially heralding a new era of digital content consumption.

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