In a move that follows the footsteps of Netflix, Disney+ streaming service is set to put an end to password sharing among its users in the United States. From now on, users at different addresses will be required to secure their own individual subscriptions. The move comes as a strategy to further monetize Disney+ services and is expected to impact users who have been sharing the same password in the short term.
Chief financial officer Hugh Johnston, representing Disney, made the announcement during a shareholder’s meeting held on Wednesday. Starting from March 14, users who are suspected of engaging in “inappropriate sharing” will be presented with an option to subscribe independently. Existing subscribers will have the opportunity to add another user to their subscription for an extra fee, which is yet to be specified.
Currently, it is uncertain whether this new policy will also be implemented for users in Belgium and if so, when.
In the previous year, Netflix introduced a similar policy where sharing a single password was no longer feasible. Under their policy, adding an extra user costs 4.5 euros, and two additional users would cost 8 euros. “Paid sharing presents a significant opportunity for us,” Johnston commented. “It’s clear that one of our competitors has already leveraged this to their advantage, and it’s a clear opportunity waiting for us.”
Disney+ has been grappling with substantial losses for a while now. According to the CFO, the streaming service lost about 1.3 million users in the US and Canada just last year. Globally, Disney+ reportedly has around 150 million users. With this new intervention, the company is hopeful of a surge in user numbers, expecting an increase of 5.5 to 6 million users in the short term.
Netflix reportedly detects password sharing by tracking connections to the paying household’s Wi-Fi using IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity. The same information allows Netflix to determine which devices are located outside the household.