PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Disney to Start Limiting Password Sharing in June

Disney+, streaming, entertainment

The Walt Disney Co. will start limiting password sharing for its streaming services in June.

The crackdown on the practice will begin in a few countries at that time and then expand to others in September, Disney CEO Bob Iger said Thursday (April 4) during an interview with CNBC, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Iger did not specify the countries in which the limits will start, according to the report.

Disney has said for months that a crackdown on password sharing was on its way, the report said.

The announced limits will follow similar ones that have either been made or are planned for other streaming services, per the report.

For example, Netflix told customers last year that each account could be used by only one household.

Other streaming services like PeacockDisney+ and Max sent emails to customers whose passwords were used for multiple logins at different locations, the report said. Warner Bros. Discovery said in March that it will crack down on the practice later this year.

It was reported in June that when Netflix announced May 23 that it would begin efforts to block password sharing, it then enjoyed the four single largest days of U.S. user acquisition that it had seen in 4.5 years, with the number exceeding those seen during the initial COVID-19 lockdowns.

The number of membership cancellations increased too, but not as much as signups.

By the time of its July earnings call, Netflix was crediting its successful initiatives aimed at curbing password sharing for an increase in quarterly revenue and subscriptions.

“The cancel reaction was low, and while we’re still in the early stages of monetization, we’re seeing healthy conversion of borrower households into full-paying Netflix memberships,” the company said at the time.

It was reported in February that Disney+ began sending out emails at that time notifying subscribers about its updated terms of service, which include restrictions on sharing account credentials outside of the subscriber’s household.

Those emails said that Disney+ would assess compliance with these limitations, but they did not disclose the specific methods of identification.