Disney+ officially takes a shot at password-sharing customers

ConsumerAffairs

Pay more, get more? You probably will down the road at least in sports

Here we go again. Disney+ has announced an update to its policies where it – like Netflix – intends to start charting an account-sharing fee to anyone who shares their account with someone outside their household.

During the company’s latest earning call, CFO Hugh Johnston said Disney's password crackdown will start in a matter of months. 

"Beginning this summer, Disney+  accounts suspected of improper sharing will be presented with new capabilities to allow their borrowers to start their own subscriptions," Johnston said.

"Later this calendar year, account holders who want to allow access to individuals from outside their household will be able to add them to their accounts for an additional fee."

Not a surprise

Surprised by this? You shouldn’t be. “Following Netflix’s implementation of its account-sharing clampdown, which has seen over 20 million new subscribers come on board, it’s not a huge surprise to see Disney following suit,” Roger Palmer from WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com, said. 

“Netflix charges $8 for each “extra member” subaccount, which is slightly more expensive than its ad-supported tier, which many account sharers might have moved over to.”

Where is this all going?

Disney+ probably didn’t come to this decision quickly. The Mouse recently raised its monthly subscription price by 27% to $13.99, which resulted in a loss of 1.3 million subscribers. Hulu, on the other hand, increased its subscriber count after raising its prices, indicating that the impact of price hikes can vary across different services.

Nor has raising rates hurt Netflix. After it lost more than a million subscribers in 2022, it came back with a roar in 2023, adding those 20 million Palmer referenced.

Then, it played its hand with a big price hike. According to The Streamable, anyone who wants to get all of Netflix’s best features on its top tier currently has to pay $22.99 per month – an increase of $15 per month (188%) in nearly 17 years. So, consumers must think it's worth paying for.

However, with the cloud of price hikes, a little programming sunshine might soon make an appearance, particularly for sports fans.

Just last month, Prime Video raised the price of ad-free streaming by $3 per month, bringing regional sports channels to its platform through an investment in Diamond Sports Group.

Major League Soccer moved its games primarily to streaming in 2023, as well. The NBA wants to sell its next rights deal to a streaming service, and HBO wants a piece of the sports action, too.

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