Following the success of Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing, which saw them add over twenty million subscribers, it’s hardly surprising that other streaming services are looking to do the same, with both Disney+ and Max set to follow Netflix’s lead this summer.

During the latest quarterly investors call, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked about the impending password crackdown, to which he replied:

Password sharing, beginning next month in very select markets, we’re starting to go after people who are sharing passwords improperly and that will roll out in earnest or across the globe in September. We feel quite bullish about it. Obviously, we’re heartened by the results that Netflix has delivered in their password sharing initiative and believe that it will be one of the contributors to growth, as Hugh noted, going forward. I think it’s also important to note, Netflix is in many respects a gold standard when it comes to streaming. But what I mean by that is, if you look at programming, we stack up really well.

We have a great lineup and quality of programming across not just ESPN and Disney+, but also Hulu. What we’re building is the technology that Netflix has had in place and has been building for well over a decade to improve the business from a bottom line perspective. And that starts with password sharing, but it’s all the things that Hugh mentioned as well. So I feel good about this being a necessary and very, very productive next step in terms of rolling out the technology that we need to get to the double digit margins.

Currently, Disney has revealed what countries the password-sharing crackdown will begin in, and it’s likely they will be testing their own technology by slowly turning on the process to see how people respond, in terms of complaining to Disney directly, on social media and also monitoring cancellation and subscription rates during the trial.

Disney has already updated the terms and conditions for subscribers about account sharing, in addition to having executives talking about it openly during investor calls and interviews, which helps get out the message that this is coming.

If you are sharing your account with another person who doesn’t live with you, just be prepared that you may get a message, either onscreen or via email to the account holder at some point later this year.  Disney also hasn’t announced details on how you’ll be able to add additional households onto your account, so hopefully this information is confirmed before the crackdown begins.

Roger’s POV:  With the major streaming services turning a blind eye to the sharing of accounts between friends and family, the practice has become commonplace, to the point where it’s almost expected.  The lure of streaming services was that they were cheap and ad-free, both of which are no longer the case.   From a business perspective, it makes complete sense for Disney and other streaming services to start clamping down on people sharing accounts to make more money, but I do feel like these streaming services, especially the newer platforms, should have had the technology in place much earlier to stop this, so people didn’t get used to it.  It’s hard to take something away from people when they’ve had it for free for a long time.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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