Sharing passwords between friends and family members for streaming services has been one major problem for companies like Netflix for years, because its so common and widespread.

Over 14% of Netflix users currently share their login details with friends and family, which is believed to cost Netflix hundreds of millions of dollars in lost subscriptions each year.   However even Netflix themselves haven’t shown much interest publicly in stopping this practice.

There has been many stories told about when the cardholder has to change a password, suddenly former partners, roommates or random strangers contact them asking for the new login details. One story even made a national newspaper in the UK about a friend of an ex-partner contacting a subscriber when the account was unpaid.

And there is also the black market side of password sharing, where people will purchase details from stolen accounts.

But if your planning on sharing your Disney+ with someone, Disney isn’t planning on letting this problem slide. As earlier this week, Disney announced a major new multi-year contract with Charter Communications to continue to offer existing Disney owned TV channels like National Geographic, ABC, Freeform, FX and the Disney Channel on Spectrum TV, in addition to future distribution of Disney’s streaming services, Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+.

In the official press release, Disney specifically mentioned the issue of password sharing.

Additionally, Disney and Charter have also agreed to work together on piracy mitigation. The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.

“This agreement will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content, makes possible future distribution by Spectrum of Disney streaming services, and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation,” said Tom Montemagno, EVP, Programming Acquisition for Charter.

While most streaming platforms allow simultaneous logins on different devices and locations, this does lead to abuse.

This technology can be useful, I myself had my Netflix account accessed by someone in another country, which Netflix picked up and made me aware of, which meant I could deal with the problem.  But it might be viewed differently if it was a parent, sibling or friend that was getting kicked out of a streaming platform.

Both Disney and Charter are customers of a company called, Synamedia, which has developed “security software that combats the rapid rise in account sharing between friends and families, turning it instead into a new revenue-generating opportunity for operators.”

With so many companies trying to get users to subscribe to their platforms, this problem is only going to get worse, which is why companies are developing technology to reduce it.

Disney doesn’t look to be wanting to lose any money to this loop hole and is being very direct about working to address this issue.

Is this something that could effect you subscribing to Disney+ ?





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: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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15 Comments

  1. Brenden bowman August 18, 2019

    The only issue with stopping password sharing is logging into your account on multiple devices, or having your kids not want to watch on the same tv, or split families where the child wants to have the system at both houses and they can't have it on multiple Roku or firestick devices. A solution is a phone app the is used to activate a device specifically, so sharing your password isn't all you get a notification from the app on where someone is logging in and can approve or deny the device. So only specific devices and people can use the account

    1. Roger Palmer August 18, 2019

      I don't think they are trying to stop sharing an account within a household, such as with partners/kids, just more about people who are abusing a loophole

      1. Curt January 2, 2020

        If I want to loan someone a movie I paid for etc, that’s my business. Same thing for an account from anywhere. I want to give someone my Xbox and games to play for awhile that’s my business. Gtfoh.

  2. Cheryl August 18, 2019

    I have Hulu and will be getting disney plus however I have two iPads will this mean I can’t put it on my iPhone and my iPads ? That will be a problem because I use them for different travel reasons. Also my husband and I have the same sprint account which is where we get our Hulu so will he not be able to access the Disney plus we live in the same household?

    1. Roger Palmer August 18, 2019

      The issue with sharing passwords isn't about sharing an account within an household on different devices, its more about accessing from multiple locations regularly..

  3. Kevin August 18, 2019

    The reason Netflix hasn't done anything about the problem up to this point is that frankly they are having enough trouble keeping subscribers, and don't want to rock the boat and risk losing even more paid viewership. As nearly any college kid could tell you it is painfully easy to watch Netflix for years without paying a dime just by getting a new Gmail account every month and signing up for another free trial. Netflix is afraid that if they start getting too aggressive patrolling shared passwords that some of the folks who are actually paying for their service will stop doing so! Assuming Disney+ doesn't make the same mistake, by limiting the availability of free trials, and keeping them to a reasonable length (a month is overly generous if the goal is to give the user an opportunity to evaluate the product) they still have significant hurdles to overcome in terms of creating an effective method of preventing this Behavior. Limits on IPs and number of devices need to be balanced against the fact that a big part of Disney's core audience is active, Multi-Device families. If an account has been logged on 30 different IPs and 12 devices this week, is that because of shared passwords? Or is it because Mom, Dad, and the three kids all have cell phones, they all have either tablets or laptops, and there's a smart TV and a pair of flat screens with Rokus in the house? Heuristic approaches which look for outliers in terms of what has been watched in the past by a given user are at best imperfect and can easily backfire on the company utilizing them if it looks like they are scrutinizing usage data closely enough to cross the line into invasion of privacy. Frankly, I think this is a Fool's errand on the part of Disney, or a meaningless PR stunt to make it look like they have some ace up their sleeve to prevent piracy. As the old saying goes, locks are there to keep the honest man honest. If Disney claims to have some way of accurately identifying password sharers, perhaps a few of the more gullible ones will actually buy it and not share their passwords. I have no intention on subscribing to Disney+ but if I did, this would have no effect on that decision.

  4. Regi August 18, 2019

    No it definitely does not affect me to turn down Disney plus I’ definitely agree with Disney on the password. Sharing I don’t wanna share mine I won’t couse that’s not safe I don’t want some one from another country logging in to my Plat form and hacking me it doesn’t effect me at all in fact I’m good with the hole not sharing my password Im gona sign up and enjoy ever thing Disney has on the streaming service and enjoy and not love not being able to share

  5. Cliff and Brenda August 19, 2019

    We have a split home.. my kids live in one state and myself in another. I will subscribe to D+ if the account is shareable between our 2 locations. They should be more like Vudu.. allow up to "x" amount of devices.. doesn't matter where doesn't matter who. You get 5 devices on the account.. all can use the account, you just can not access the same material at the same time. If D+ does this I'll be on the D-train.. if not then I'll try it and probably won't keep it.

  6. Darin August 19, 2019

    It isn't abuse if you are letting a family member outside the household use your password. I have a Netflix account as well as a Hulu one. I allow my step daughter to use my Netflix account because she took over the responsibility of paying for it. This just makes Disney and Spectrum look like the greedy corporations they are.

  7. J August 19, 2019

    I agree with Cliff and Brenda, there are options with streaming services. I am confused and wonder if this article is thorough, as Netflix have multiuser accounts. So the password isn't a big concern and it isn't costing them money. You pay for the flexibility you get. The account is under one email address but with multiple users on it and on multiple surfaces. Each user you create is tailored to the specific person. I.e. Kid user don't have access to adult content. If you go over the user count you paid for, you will get the error message. It also not restricted to location. I.e. my family is traveling, they can watch in the country they are in while I am in North America. If it go over user count and it is not by authorized user, it's good Netflix can track it down and kickoff the unauthorized user, so you can secure your account. Maybe Disney+ has the same? If it is, I think it's worthwhile. If not, the inflexibility will cost Disney.

  8. Jan September 20, 2019

    My daughter lives back east and we live on west coast and on limited income. Will we be able to access her account?

  9. Dave November 12, 2019

    My daughters are off in college and my wife travels a lot for work. If we can't share the account because we are not all in the same house even though we are in the same household, I won't waste my time or money

  10. Victoria Reno November 22, 2019

    I really want to know how they plan to do this. I'm in college and extremely broke so of course I use my parents account. I also use my parents account for Netflix and Hulu. Am I never going to be able to use Disney+ during the school year because I'm not in the same house as my parents?

  11. Terry February 2, 2020

    Disney only allows televisions made in 2016 or newer access Disney plus. My tv was made in 2015 so I am unable to watch on my tv unless I run it through my laptop first. My kids are on my Verizon acct but are no longer able to access Disney plus on their televisions. I only signed up for Disney plus for the kids to watch but if they can’t access it I will definitely not pay for it when the free period is over.

    1. Roger Palmer February 2, 2020

      The cheapest option is to pick up a new streaming box like a Roku or Amazon Fire to watch Disney+