Sunday, December 3

Disney+ to Begin Password Sharing Crackdown This November in Canada

Disney+ will be implementing restrictions on password sharing in Canada starting November 1. Subscribers received an email informing them that sharing accounts with individuals outside their household will no longer be allowed. The term “household” refers to devices associated with a primary personal address used by individuals living in the same residence. However, the announcement lacks clarity, leaving room for interpretation. It seems that as long as outsiders sign in at the main account holder’s residence, they may be considered part of the household.
Disney has not provided specific details on how it plans to enforce this policy, but it has stated that it will monitor account activity to ensure compliance. If users are found to be violating the rules, their access to the streaming platform may be limited or terminated. Disney CEO Bob Iger acknowledged during a recent earnings call that a significant number of users have been sharing passwords with friends and family. He also mentioned that the company has the technical capability to monitor these sign-ins. Initially, Iger hinted that crackdown plans might begin in 2024, but it seems that Disney+ has decided to implement the restrictions earlier.
Interestingly, the agreement includes a phrase stating that certain Disney+ tiers may permit password sharing. This suggests that higher-priced tiers may allow users to share passwords, similar to Netflix’s policies that allow for additional members to be added to accounts for a higher monthly fee. Netflix was one of the first major streaming platforms to crack down on account sharing by tracking IP addresses and requiring verification codes every 31 days. It remains unclear if Disney+ will adopt the same methods or introduce new subscription plans.
Iger’s primary concern is whether users who are no longer able to share passwords will become new subscribers and generate revenue for the company. Netflix’s approach to password sharing has proven successful, with a reported increase of 6 million new subscriptions in July, bringing their total subscriber count to 238 million. In contrast, Disney+ has faced challenges in maintaining its subscriber numbers, particularly in the Disney+ Hotstar segment. This segment lost 12.5 million subscribers from April to June, largely due to the loss of live streaming rights for IPL cricket and the removal of HBO content from Disney+ Hotstar. These factors have led many to question the value of the subscription.
The implementation of restrictions on password sharing is aimed at protecting revenue and ensuring that users pay for their own subscriptions. By cracking down on account sharing, Disney+ hopes to increase its subscriber base and boost revenue. However, the success of this approach will depend on how effectively Disney+ can enforce the policy and whether users who previously shared passwords will be willing to become new subscribers.
The agreement suggests that certain Disney+ tiers may still allow password sharing, albeit at a higher price. This mirrors Netflix’s approach, where users can add additional members to their accounts for a higher monthly fee. This strategy allows streaming platforms to monetize password sharing while still discouraging unauthorized account access.

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