With Disney looking to make its streaming services more profitable, it has been looking at ways to do so and ever since Netflix implemented new restrictions on people sharing accounts, which has resulted in the company adding over twenty-two million new subscribers in the past year, who had previously been sharing accounts, it’s only been a matter of time until other streaming platforms did the same.
Last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke during one of the company’s quarterly investor calls about how they are planning on having a crackdown on password sharing across its streaming services, including Disney+ and Hulu.
“We’re actively exploring ways to address account sharing and the best options for paying subscribers to share their accounts with friends and family. We will roll out tactics to drive monetization sometime in 2024.”
And late last year, Disney+ subscribers were informed of some new terms and conditions that would restrict people from sharing their accounts with people outside of their household.
You may not share your subscription outside of your household. ‘Household’ means the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the people who live there.
This week, Hulu subscribers have been getting emails informing them of some updates to the Subscriber Agreement, which has taken effect from January 25th for new subscribers and will apply to existing subscribers from March 14th 2024.
The new rules highlight that there will be limitations on sharing an account with people outside of their household.
In March, Disney plans to roll out the full launch of Hulu On Disney+, which offers more Hulu content within Disney+, as it looks to bring the two services closer together. This new subscriber agreement puts both platforms closer in line with each other.
Here’s Hulu’s note to subscribers:
We wanted to let you know that we are making some updates to our Subscriber Agreement.
These terms will apply as of January 25, 2024 for new subscribers. For prior and existing subscribers, like you, these terms will be effective beginning on March 14, 2024, unless you acknowledge an in-app notice of these changes earlier. Until then, the terms of our prior agreement apply.
We encourage you to review the updated Subscriber Agreement in full and save a copy for your files. Once effective, it will govern your use and enjoyment of your Hulu subscription. We are as committed as ever to making sure you have an enjoyable streaming experience. Please visit our Help Center for more information about your subscription.
We have highlighted some of the changes for your reference:
• We’re adding limitations on sharing your account outside of your household, and explaining how we may assess your compliance with these limitations.
• We’re updating aspects of our dispute resolution policies, including terms related to choice of law and updates to the arbitration agreement to be more specific about the procedures for resolving any disputes relating to your subscription and our services, and to offer you the choice to “opt out” of resolving disputes through arbitration.
The Hulu Team
No doubt, many Hulu subscribers are going to be wary of the new changes and have questions about how this will impact them, with different situations such as people working away from home, going on vacation, split families, universities, etc.
But if you’re sharing your Hulu account with someone living in a different property, I’d suggest telling them that things might be changing in the future and to give them a heads up. Ultimately, Disney wants people using Hulu and Disney+ who aren’t paying for it to sign up for the Disney Streaming Bundle, which starts at $9.99 a month.
Many telephone, cable and internet providers are now offering free or lower-priced bundles of streaming services as part of their bundles, so it’s worth checking to see if you, or potentially the people who are sharing an account, are eligible for these.
It’s unlikely we will know exactly how this will fully work until the crackdown has begun properly, with Disney CEO Bob Iger saying previously that the crackdown won’t fully start impacting on their subscriber numbers until 2025.
While there will be some subscribers who might reject the terms and cancel their subscriptions, ultimately, as it has been proven with Netflix’s crackdown, it is more likely more people will sign up than are lost, or those who leave will eventually return.
All of the streaming services are no longer turning a blind eye to the sharing of accounts and are making changes to how this is no longer going to be accepted by them. But it will no doubt be a bumpy road while people get used to not taking advantage of how it’s been for years.
What do you think of Disney cracking down on password sharing? Let us know on social media!
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.