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Disney+ to begin crackdown on password sharing

Disney+ is moving toward ending free password sharing on its platform.

The move follows the same one deployed by Netflix earlier this year following years in which it had a rather relaxed attitude to the practice, enabling many people to use the streaming service for free.

Disney+ appears to be starting small, only banning password sharing in Canada to begin, starting on November 1.

But it seems likely that the rule will extend to users beyond the North American nation before too long. Disney chief Bob Iger said over the summer that it would move against password sharing in 2024, but given that the company is starting early with Canada, more countries could feasibly be added before the end of this year.

The new stance was explained in an email sent this week to Disney+ subscribers in Canada that said:

“Unless otherwise permitted by your service tier, you may not share your subscription outside of your household. If we determine that you have violated this agreement, we may limit or terminate access to the service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this agreement.”

Following its own change, Netflix now charges the main subscriber an additional fee if they wish to add someone to their account who lives outside their household, though the so-called “extra member slots” come with some restrictions for the user.

Despite some initial pushback, the new approach seems to be working, with Netflix claiming over the summer that it has prompted some of those who were sharing for free to take out a full subscription. Indeed, the positive outcome for Netflix may have encouraged Disney+ to adopt the same strategy.

In other changes, Disney+, along with Disney-owned streaming services Hulu and ESPN+, are introducing new pricing schemes over the next few months.

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Trevor Mogg
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