The Walt Disney Company has repeatedly warned customers that it’s preparing a Netflix-styled password-sharing crackdown. Now, CEO Bob Iger says that the crackdown will begin in June, with a full “rollout” in September.

Bob Iger dropped this bombshell in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. Password sharing was not the subject of this interview, but it was briefly mentioned while discussing Disney+ potential for profitability.

In order to turn Disney+ into a “growth business,” it needs to increase customer engagement, curb cancelations, and reduce the cost of customer acquisitions. Netflix has already proven that a password-sharing crackdown will increase profits and appease investors with very little customer pushback. So, Disney is following in Netflix’s footsteps.

In June we’ll be launching our first real foray into password sharing – Just a few countries in a few markets, but then it will grow significantly with a full rollout in September.

Of course, Disney+ and Hulu already forbid password sharing in their subscriber agreements. You aren’t supposed to share your account with anyone outside of your household. This rule simply hasn’t been enforced. Presumably, Disney waited to launch its Hulu on Disney+ platform before setting up any account-sharing detection technology. Instead of spearheading a crackdown on two apps, Disney has narrowed things down to a single app.

It seems that Disney’s crackdown will follow the game plan that was laid out by Netflix in 2023. Disney will start with “a few countries in a few markets” and slowly extend its password-sharing crackdown across the globe. Some users will be affected on day one, while others won’t feel the pain until September.

If you feel that the Netflix comparison is too tongue in cheek—well, it’s perfectly relevant. After revealing Disney’s password-sharing plans, Iger noted, “Netflix is the gold standard in streaming … if we can only accomplish what they’ve accomplished, that would be great.”

Disney isn’t the only platform that’s been influenced by Netflix. Max, formerly HBO Max, plans to tackle password sharing in late 2024 or early 2025. Account sharing used to be the norm, but it will slowly become a rarity.

After this crackdown is finalized, Disney+ and Hulu accounts can only be shared within a single household. So, you’ve got (at most) six months to share your Disney+ and Hulu memberships with family, friends, and strangers. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Source: CNBC