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Report: Disney+ Canadian Subscriber Agreement Reveals Crackdown on Account Sharing

Disney streaming

The Walt Disney Co. has reportedly begun taking steps to restrict account sharing on its Disney+ streaming platform.

The subscriber agreement for the upcoming launch of its ad-supported service tier in Canada provides insight into the company’s approach, Seeking Alpha reported Wednesday (Sept. 27).

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

Disney CEO Bob Iger had earlier expressed a desire to address account sharing and find the best options for paying subscribers to share their accounts with friends and family, according to the report.

The Canadian launch, set for Nov. 1, introduces new tiers, including a Standard plan with ads, a Standard ad-free plan and a Premium plan, the report said. Only the Premium plan offers up to 4K resolution and up to four concurrent streams, while the other plans are limited to full HD (1080p) resolution and two concurrent streams. 

The new subscriber agreements clearly state that plans cannot be shared outside of a “household,” defined as the collection of devices associated with the primary personal residence, per the report.

To enforce stricter concurrent-streams rules, the agreements say Disney may analyze user accounts to ensure compliance, according to the report.

This could involve monitoring devices and network addresses accessing a given account, the report said. The company plans to roll out these measures in 2024, aiming to drive monetization and revenue growth.

During Disney’s most recent earnings call, held Aug. 9, Iger said the company plans to create a one-app experience for its streaming service providers, as well as crack down on password sharing.

“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 during the call. “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.”

Rival streaming platform Netflix gained a record number of new subscribers after launching its own crackdown on password sharing. Netflix officially began the password-sharing ban on May 23. Between May 25 and May 28, it garnered more new subscriptions than in any other four-day period since streaming analytics company Antenna began compiling such data in 2019.