Bob Iger Announces New Rules for Passwords on Disney+

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: Apr 21, 2024

Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced that the Walt Disney Company’s streaming service, Disney+, will start cracking down on password sharing.

The company’s streaming service will limit accounts to people living inside the account holder’s home, echoing Netflix’s shift last year, which subscribers highly criticized but made the streaming service money.

Disney CEO Ends Password Sharing

In an interview with CNBC, Iger announced that Disney is “launching [its] first real foray into password sharing” sometime this June.

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Christina Aguilera and Bob Iger standing on stage together at a Disney awards ceremony in 2010.

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The rollout will affect a few countries in the streaming market, but Iger did not specify which countries. Instead, Iger mentioned when the widespread password crackdown will affect all subscribers.

Password Sharing Ends in June 

In June, the crackdown affected some countries, resulting in anyone using their friend’s or family’s Disney+ account being locked out in September if they do not reside in the account holder’s home.

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This announcement comes only a week after Disney combined the Disney+ and Hulu apps in the United States following the company’s purchase of the remaining ownership stake of Hulu from Comcast last year.

Updating Users

In the newly updated subscriber agreements for Hulu, users “may not share [their] subscription outside of [their] household.” This definition of a ‘household’ encapsulates the collection of devices associated with users’ primary residence, exclusively used by those residing within.

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Disney echoed this update with their updated subscriber agreements, and there are a few ways that they can monitor who is and isn’t in the same household.

How to Share Disney+ With Others

Like Netflix, Disney’s new password rules will allow you to add individuals outside your household for an additional fee. The “freeloader” fee has not been announced as of writing.

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Streaming prices are constantly on the rise as they are attempting to find subscribers in a crowded market.

Disney Follows In Netflix’s Footsteps

When Netflix announced its plans to crack down on password sharing, there was a fair amount of skepticism, especially since the company seemed to support password sharing for years.

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Many users announced that they were not going to get a new account, and it became clear that Netflix’s password-sharing ban was a profitable move for the streaming giant.

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Netflix Made Money With Its Password Crackdown

According to Forbes, Netflix announced that it had gained 9 million new subscribers several months after ending password sharing in the U.S. “We’ve now successfully taken action in every region in which we operate and we’re rolling it out as planned,” Netflix said.

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Translated into the venue, Netflix reported that they made $8.5 billion for the third quarter of 2023, which was an eight percent increase compared to 2022.

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A Cheaper Option 

While not everyone can afford the more expensive, ad-free Netflix plan, Netflix offers a cheaper, ad-supported tier that allows viewers to indulge in all of their favorite shows.

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“The cancel reaction continues to be low, exceeding our expectations, and borrower households converting into full paying memberships are demonstrating healthy retention,” Netflix said.

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Netflix Promises to Optimize Streaming Despite Changes

“Going forward, we’ll continue to refine and optimize our approach to convert additional borrower households into either full-paying members or extra members over the next several quarters,” the streaming giant said.

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Unfortunately, these changes tend to look like higher fees for bloated libraries of content that many of us do not watch.

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The Linger Effects of the Streaming Bubble Burst 

While the streaming bubble has popped for many, streaming giants like Netflix and Disney are doing what they can to be profitable forms of at-home entertainment.

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Netflix’s password crackdown proved to be a smart business move, one that Iger is eager to emulate in order to make Disney+ a profitable and investable service.

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Is Disney+ Worth It?

While Disney+ is one of the best streaming services available (thanks to Hulu’s content being available on the family-friendly service and the company’s most popular brands like Marvel, “Star Wars,” and Pixar), not everyone can afford the service.

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Luckily, there are several ways that consumers can watch their favorite shows and movies without breaking the bank.

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The Future of Disney+

While these changes to our favorite streaming services are not ideal, streaming is a business with a lot of ups and downs. Earlier this year, Disney followed Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s steps by removing original movies and series.

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Unfortunately, Disney seems to be asking a lot from subscribers while not respecting the art we enjoy. Will you keep your account, or is this the end of Disney+ for you? Let us know in the comments!

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