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This is when the Hulu, ESPN+, Disney+ password sharing crackdown starts

The Disney Plus sign-up menu is displayed
Marques Kaspbrak / Unsplash

The era of password sharing is slowly but surely coming to an end. Netflix has already begun cracking down on people sharing passwords across households, and now, other streaming services are following suit. Before 2024 is over, Disney Plus password sharing will be a thing of the past.

Disney’s streaming services are now preparing to crack down on those who are sharing passwords, and the consequences for doing so could be severe. Users across Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN Plus will be warned about password sharing, and if they don’t Disney CEO Bob Iger even laid out a timeline for when the crackdown will start, although he didn’t get into too many specifics.

Bob Iger says Disney will start its password-sharing crackdown over the summer

A remote with Disney Plus in the background.

In an interview with CNBC, Bob Iger said that the company will “be launching our first real foray into password sharing” in June of 2024. Iger added that the initial launch would be “just a few countries in a few markets” and did not specify which countries the crackdown would start in. Iger said that the program “will grow significantly with a full rollout in September.”

Initially, users who are sharing the account of someone else will be prompted to start their own accounts. Eventually, though, account holders who want to share their accounts with someone outside of their house will be asked to pay an additional fee for the privilege. Disney has already made this update in their terms of service, which now explicitly forbids users from sharing their passwords with anyone outside their home. This is, of course, a page right out of Netflix’s playbook and one designed to ensure that streaming can be a profitable product for Disney in the long run.

Iger said that he wants Disney to achieve “double-digit margins” in its streaming business over the long term. Disney has previously said that it expects Disney Plus to achieve profitability by the end of the 2024 fiscal year (which ends in September). The company’s streaming business posted a loss of $138 million in the year-end 2023 quarter, which was a sequential improvement of $300 million. That means that although Disney Plus is still operating at a loss, it is improving its margins and inching closer and closer toward profitability.

Hulu and Disney Plus are becoming one thing

During the interview, Iger also reminded the public that Disney is hard at work on combining Hulu and Disney Plus into a single interface so that users have access to their bundle subscriptions inside a single app.

“We need the technological tools to lower churn, create more stickiness,” Iger said on CNBC. “It’s things like recommendation engines, getting to know our customers better. We need to reduce the cost of marketing. We need to reduce the cost of customer acquisition to get the margins up, obviously.”

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