Disney+ will begin implementing measures to curb password sharing on its platform, starting November 1st, taking a cue from Netflix. This initiative will initially roll out in Canada, as communicated to subscribers through an email from the company. While specific enforcement details have not been disclosed, the email states that there will be restrictions on sharing account credentials beyond one’s household.
This announcement comes after Disney’s Q3 earnings call, over a month ago, where CEO Bob Iger mentioned that they were actively exploring solutions for shared accounts. He emphasized the prevalence of password sharing for Disney’s services and highlighted Disney’s technical capability to monitor user logins. The company has been working on this password sharing crackdown for several years, with initial reports dating back to 2019, even before the platform’s launch.
Disney+ joins the ranks of streaming platforms addressing password sharing concerns. Netflix has been testing various restrictions in several countries for over a year and initiated a crackdown in the U.S. in May of this year, based on subscribers’ IP addresses. Depending on their chosen plan, Netflix subscribers can add additional members to their accounts for an extra fee. The company reported in its Q2 earnings call that this policy has led to an increase in subscribers.
In March of this year, Iger, after returning to the company, acknowledged that streaming was a costly service with insufficient returns on investment, indicating the need for changes. He expressed optimism about streaming as a strong consumer offering for high-quality content and foresaw a future where most content migrates to streaming. He stressed the importance of cost rationalization, attracting more subscribers, and implementing a sensible pricing strategy for Disney+. Iger is likely anticipating that Disney’s subscriber numbers will mirror Netflix’s successes, with password sharing restrictions being a step toward aligning costs.