The recent announcement by Disney Plus regarding a crackdown on password sharing in Canada is part of a growing trend in the streaming industry. Password-sharing restrictions are becoming more common as streaming platforms aim to protect their revenue and ensure profitability.
In an email sent to Canadian users, Disney Plus announced restrictions on the sharing of account credentials outside of a household. The updated Canadian Subscriber Agreement states that subscribers cannot share their subscription with individuals outside of their primary residence, unless permitted by their account tier. Violations of this policy could result in Disney Plus limiting or terminating service.
The definition of “household” according to Disney Plus includes the collection of devices associated with a subscriber’s primary residence and used by the individuals living there. These password-sharing restrictions are part of multiple updates to Disney Plus’ Subscriber Agreement, set to go into effect for most Canadian users on November 1. Annual subscribers in Quebec may see the changes implemented at a later date depending on their billing cycle.
In addition to the password-sharing restrictions, Disney Plus will also roll out ad-supported tier offerings in Canada and select European markets on November 1. This ad tier has already been available in the U.S. since December 2022. It remains unclear if similar household restrictions will be seen beyond Canada, as a spokesperson for Disney Plus did not provide additional details when contacted by The Associated Press.
Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, has previously stated the company’s goal of making its streaming services profitable. This includes a planned price hike on its ad-free Disney and Hulu plans in the U.S., as well as a crackdown on password sharing expected to extend into next year. Although Iger did not provide specific details about the password-sharing crackdown, he mentioned that Disney could see benefits from it in 2024. However, the work may not be completed by that year, and Disney cannot predict how many password sharers will switch to paid subscriptions.
Disney is not the only streaming platform implementing stricter password-sharing policies. Netflix, for example, has also made headlines for cracking down on password sharing. In the U.S., viewers who share passwords are now required to open their own accounts unless a subscriber with a standard or premium plan agrees to pay an $8 monthly surcharge to allow more people from different households to watch.
Overall, the increasing prevalence of password-sharing crackdowns in the streaming industry reflects the platforms’ efforts to protect their revenue streams and ensure profitability. These restrictions may inconvenience some users, but they are aimed at maintaining the sustainability of the streaming services in the long run.