Disney+ Password Sharing Crackdown: Everything you need to know and what Bob Iger has said

Bob Iger, Walt Disney CEO, has announced a crackdown on password sharing.Bob Iger, Walt Disney CEO, has announced a crackdown on password sharing.
Bob Iger, Walt Disney CEO, has announced a crackdown on password sharing.
There’s bad news for people who share their Disney+ account with friends and family.

After Netflix brought in measures to stop subscribers from sharing their account name and password with other households, Disney+ is set to follow suit.

Shortly after it stepped up its action against the issue, Netflix reported a major spike in new users signing up for the service and has seen revenues rise since.

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So it’s perhaps not surprising that other streaming giants are looking to do the same.

Here’s what Disney+ subscribers need to know.

What is password sharing?

Under most streaming platform’s terms of use multiple people can share one subscription providing they all live together - so one person can watch football in the kitchen, while another watches a film in the living room.

The problem comes when people from different households use the same account that breaks the rules and the streaming platform may cut service.

In the early days of streaming companies were happy to take a hit on password sharing between households and is was a widespread practice. Now though, squeezed bottom lines mean the entertainment giants are looking to boost profits - with a crackdown on people viewing for free top of the agenda.

When is the crackdown on Disney+ password sharing expected?

Password sharers have a few months of safety left. Disney’s CEO has said that the streaming platform will trial the crackdown in some countries in June, with a full global rollout in September.

What has Disney said about the crackdown?

Speaking about launching the crackdown as a way of boosting revenue for the platform, Disney CEO Bob Iger told American network CNBC Disney+ would be “launching our first real foray into password sharing” in June, adding the move would help “turn this business into a business that we feel really good about”.

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He added: “Netflix is the gold standard in streaming. They’ve done a phenomenal job and a lot of different directions. I actually have very, very high regard for what they’ve accomplished. If we can only accomplish what they’ve accomplished, that would be great.”

How will the crackdown be accomplished?

Given the Disney CEO’s admiration of how Netflix is run, it’s extremely likely that Disney+ will follow their lead when it comes to cracking down on password sharing.

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Launched last year, Netflix now asks subscribers to set a ‘primary location’ and only people who live at that address will then be able to access the service. Netflix say they can tell whether content is being streamed at a different address using “IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity from devices signed into the Netflix account”.

If Netflix determines that the user isn't part of the household – and may be trying to break its password-sharing rules – it will ask them to verify their device. A one-time code will be sent to the account’s registered phone number or email address, and the user will then have 15 minutes to input the code or be locked out from Netflix.

Is there any way around the crackdown?

If you get locked out of another person’s Netflix account then the account has the option to pay extra to let you use it officially. That does, however, depend on the account holder paying for a ‘premium’ account and, even then, only two other households can be added.

A Netflix Premium account with two extra households added now costs a hefty £25.97 a month.

It’s not certain that Disney+ will have exactly the same model - but it’s likely to be broadly similar.

What happened at the recent Disney annual shareholder meeting?

The password sharing crackdown announcement comes shortly after a battle at board level at Disney.

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Investment companies Trian Fund Management and Blackwells Capital attempted to gain control of seats on the company’s board after being frustrated with the level of returns they were getting - despite Disney’s share price being up nearly 50 per cent over the last six months.

Ultimately the move was blocked by shareholders and Disney CEO Bob Iger, with only around of 30 per cent of shareholders voting against Disney’s own board selections.

Additional reporting: PA



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