Disney has announced strict measures against password sharing on its streaming services, including Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, following in the footsteps of competitor Netflix. In an email to Hulu subscribers, the company revealed its plan to impose limitations on sharing accounts outside of households starting March 14. The move is part of Disney’s strategy to tackle the issue of unauthorized access and encourage legitimate subscriptions.
The user agreements for Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+, updated on January 25, explicitly prohibit impersonation or misrepresentation, including the use of another person’s username or password. Disney reserves the right to analyze user accounts to ensure compliance, and violators may face account limitations or termination.
Disney CEO Bob Iger had previously indicated the company’s focus on addressing password sharing in 2024. In an earnings call last August, Iger emphasized the priority of tackling this issue to grow the business. The upcoming fiscal first-quarter earnings call on February 7 is expected to provide more insights into Disney’s strategy, user acquisition goals, and the anticipated impact on subscription numbers.
The decision to crack down on password sharing follows Netflix’s successful implementation of similar measures. Disney aims to protect its content, boost subscription growth, and convert those sharing passwords into legitimate subscribers. The company hopes to replicate Netflix’s success, where a crackdown led to a surge in new subscribers as individuals created their own accounts.
The password-sharing restrictions are set to take effect on March 14, providing subscribers with a grace period to adjust their streaming habits. Disney‘s meticulous approach aims to minimize potential backlash, and the user agreements explicitly mention consequences for violators, highlighting the seriousness of the company’s stance. Users continuing to share passwords may face interruptions in service or account termination.