Disney Plus sets date for password crackdown

  • Disney’s CEO says that Disney Plus will begin stopping users from sharing their passwords from June this year.
  • The streaming platform has yet to turn a profit and will be following the lead of Netflix in hopes of gaining higher revenues.
  • A wider worldwide crackdown on password sharing will begin in September, which could affect users in SA.

Following on the heels of Netflix in an attempt to maximise profits, Disney Plus is set to begin stopping users from sharing their account passwords with others. According to CEO of Disney, Big Iger, the streaming platform will start cracking down on password sharing in June this year.

The streaming platform has yet to turn a profit since its launch, and has been struggling to keep subscribers in regions like India and South Africa where Disney Plus is essentially a reskin of the Hotstar app.

In an interview with CNBC Iger said that Disney Plus would be following the example of Netflix in dealing with password sharing, something that has been brewing since at least August 2023.

“Netflix is the gold standard in streaming,” he said, as per CNN.

“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.”

Netflix has stopped users in regions like North America, Latin America and Europe from sharing their passwords with others by placing warnings before logging into accounts outside of home locations. In place of password sharing, the company has released new subscription tiers.

Some of these tiers allow users to share their accounts with others for a higher monthly fee. But the system is complicated and messy, and a far cry from the simplicity of sharing passwords in the past. However, it has worked to increase subscribers in certain regions and drive more revenue.

As for Disney Plus, the streaming platform does have terms of use against password sharing, but these have not been reinforced by any software updates.

“We actually think that there’s an opportunity here to help us grow our business,” Iger told investors on Disney’s fiscal third-quarter earnings call. He called the password crackdown a real priority.

How it will affect South African users of Disney Plus is still unknown. Streaming platforms will have different regulations depending on the region. For example, Netflix hasn’t launched its extra paid sharing tiers locally yet, and password sharing is still something that is possible.

Iger said that June will see the start of the password-sharing crackdown, but a wider crackdown will take place in September. That could be when South African users could begin seeing their apps becoming more restrictive, but no official confirmation has yet to be given.


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