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Report: Disney+ Begins Crackdown on Password Sharing in US

Disney+, streaming, entertainment

Disney+ has reportedly begun taking steps to prevent password sharing among its U.S. subscribers.

The streaming service began sending out emails on Wednesday (Feb. 7) notifying subscribers about its updated terms of service, which include restrictions on sharing account credentials outside of the subscriber’s household, the Verge reported Wednesday. 

The Walt Disney Company did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

It was reported in September that the company’s subscriber agreement for the Disney+ ad-supported tier in Canada clearly stated that plans cannot be shared outside of a “household,” defined as the collection of devices associated with the primary personal residence. The agreement also said Disney could analyze user streams to enforce compliance.

The changes to the terms of service of Disney+ in the United States are effective immediately for new customers and starting from March 14 for existing subscribers, according to the report by The Verge.

The email sent to subscribers said that Disney+ will assess compliance with these limitations, although specific methods of identification are not disclosed, the report said.

The decision by Disney+ to implement restrictions on password sharing follows in the footsteps of Hulu, another popular streaming service owned by Disney, per the report. Hulu recently sent out similar notices to its users, informing them about changes to its terms of service and its plans to crack down on password sharing. 

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said in August during an earnings call that the company would crack down on password sharing.

He said this while describing Disney’s plans to create a one-app experience for its streaming service subscribers, allowing them to access more of the company’s streaming content in one place.

“What we don’t know, of course, is as we work on this, how much of the password sharing, as we basically eliminate it, will contribute to growth in subscribers,” Iger said. “Obviously, we believe there will be some, but we’re not speculating. What we are saying, though, is that in calendar 2024, we’re going to address this issue.”

Netflix began a crackdown on password sharing in May, saying it would send an email to members who share Netflix outside their household, reminding them that an account is for use by only one household.

A month later, in June, subscription research service Antenna said that Netflix got more sign-ups than cancellations after beginning to block password sharing