Disney cracks down on password sharing, threatening to ban users

Disney cracks down on password sharing, threatening to ban users

Bad news for Canadian Disney Plus users... it's now officially forbidden to share passwords outside of your household.

Starting from November 1st, Disney Plus is set to implement tighter restrictions on password sharing, initially rolling out the new rules in Canada. In an email sent to Canadian subscribers, Disney outlined the coming changes, indicating a shift in the streaming landscape's dynamics. While specific details about how they plan to actually enforce the new rules were not fully disclosed, the email emphasized that they were focussing on limiting account sharing and login credentials to within the household. Now, the revised Canadian subscriber agreement introduces a new section on "account sharing," warning users that Disney may investigate account usage. Failure to comply with the terms could result in account limitations or termination.

While the restriction only applies to Candian users for now, it seems highly likely that the streaming and entertainment giant will roll out these rules around the globe. 

Crackdown an attempt to increase subscribers

The shift follows Disney's Q3 earnings call, where CEO Bob Iger acknowledged the prevalence of shared accounts and hinted at the company's active exploration of measures to address this issue. Iger highlighted the technical capability to monitor sign-ins, indicating a commitment to safeguarding the integrity of user accounts.

When asked about how widespread the password sharing issue was, Iger remained tight-lipped. "I'm not going to give you a specific number, except to say that it's significant," he said. "What we don't know, of course, is as we get to work on this, how much of the password sharing as we basically eliminate it will convert to growth in subs. Obviously, we believe there will be some, but we're not speculating."

In this move, Disney Plus joins the ranks of streaming services aiming to tackle password sharing, a trend initially tackled by Netflix. The latter has been testing restrictions for over a year, significantly cracking down in the US in May 2023. Netflix restricts accounts based on IP addresses, offering subscribers the option to add members for an extra fee, thereby driving more subscribers to the service, as noted in the Q2 earnings call.

The streaming wars heat up

For Canadian Disney Plus users, this shift comes with a silver lining – access to a more affordable, ad-supported tier. For users of all platforms, streaming platoforms are a far cry from the affordable and bountiful services they once were. Now, with ever increasing numbers of platforms, steady price increases, and increased restrictions on account sharing, the golden days are truly over.