Netflix’s decision to limit account sharing has made a significant change in the world of streaming platforms. It appears the entertainment company has set a trend, as Disney wants to implement similar measures.
Here’s all the information about the upcoming changes. If you want to run through new rules for using Netflix, take a look at our article on Netflix’s password sharing rules.
When will Disney+ introduce password sharing rules in the US and UK?
Disney CEO Bob Iger stated back in the August 2023 quarterly earnings call (via The Wrap) that the measures would roll out later that year:
We are actively exploring ways to address account sharing and the best options for paying subscribers to share their accounts with friends and family. Later this year, we will begin to update our subscriber agreements with additional terms and our sharing policies. And we will roll out strategies to drive monetization sometime in 2024.
Since then, the company notified customers in Canada that the crackdown would begin on 1 November 2023 (via Variety).
Iger didn’t provide the exact date for the introduction of the restrictions for the US and UK. For now, you can still share a Disney+ password with friends and family members.
However, CNN reported that Hulu emailed subscribers at the end of January 2024 to inform them that password sharing limitations would be coming from 14 March 2024.
Hulu is often sold as a bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+, but it’s currently unclear if these changes will also impact Disney+ accounts.
This email is also specific to those in the US. We have reached out to Disney for clarification, and will update this article should we hear more.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
What do the new password-sharing measures on Disney+ involve?
At this moment, it’s uncertain how the new rules for using Disney+ will look in the US and UK. They’re of course intended to help the company make more money following a drop in paying members – Disney lost 300,000 subscribers in the US and Canada during the most recent financial quarter.
CEO Bob Iger hopes the new regulations will increase subscribers, as that is what happened in Netflix’s case.
We already have the technical capability to monitor much of this, and I’m not gonna give you a specific number except to say it’s significant. We certainly have established this as a real priority, and we actually think that there’s an opportunity here to help us grow our business. Moving forward, I believe three businesses will drive the greatest growth and value creation over the next five years.
If Disney uses the same methods as Netflix, it will use a combination of IP addresses, device IDs and account activity to determine where the primary account holder is based, and block other uses from streaming.
The message sent to Canadian subscribers said that Disney will “…limit or terminate access to the service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this agreement”. So far, the company hasn’t introduced any ‘Extra Member’ options like Netflix, but this could be an option when the curb begins to roll out globally.