Disney+ Has Plans to Crack Down on Password Sharing

Now that Disney+ is officially up and running, the streaming service is well aware of password sharing among users — and has an eventual plan to crack down on it. Although the company offers generous usage guidelines for sharing an account (four concurrent streams with up to seven user profiles per account), the service is actually only meant to be shared by people in one household.

Disney seems to be OK with password sharing among friends and family members, but only to a certain point.

"Password sharing is definitely something we think about," said Michael Paull, president of Disney Streaming Services, during a Disney+ media preview last week, The Verge reports. He added that Disney is hopeful that customers will recognize just how much they're getting for the $6.99 monthly subscription fee and will use the service within reason.

"We believe that consumers will see that value, and they're going to act accordingly," he said. "They're going to use those accounts for their family, for their household. That being said, we do recognize password sharing exists and will continue to exist."

But Disney has tools at its disposal if password sharing does get out of hand or becomes something that stunt's Disney+'s growth. "We have created some technology that's in the backend that we will use to understand behavior," Paull said. "And when we see behavior that doesn't make sense, we have mechanisms that we've put in place that will deal with it."

What could raise red flags for the company is the number of devices being used on a single account. Disney+ does not ask for location permissions when used on mobile devices, but it most likely is not difficult for the giant to approximate your general region through data servers and other backend methods.

Netflix, perhaps Disney+'s biggest rival, has also spoken about password sharing, issuing similar messaging when it comes to restricting the practice. During a quarterly earnings call last month, Netflix's product chief Greg Peters acknowledged that password sharing across multiple households was an issue that the company was aware of. However, he explained that the company has no clear timeline for trying to stop it, meaning that password borrowers might not have to worry just yet.


"We continue to monitor [password sharing]," Peters said during the quarterly earnings call. "We'll continue to look at the situation and we'll see those consumer-friendly ways to push on the edge of that, but we've got no big plans at this point in time in terms of doing something different there."