Disney+ will start cracking down on password-sharing in Canada starting November 1. Canadian subscribers will have to pay extra if they want to continue sharing their accounts with non-household members. The stricter rules will coincide with Disney’s launch of ad-supported plans in parts of Canada and Europe.
The Disney+ news mirrors the recent changes made by Netflix, who released its new rules regarding password sharing in February. Disney+’s new restrictions could signal a larger trend of streaming services becoming stricter on account-sharing with people who don’t live with you.
Disney wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Canadian subscribers received an email alerting them to the change and updated the Subscriber Agreement, Engadget reported yesterday. The agreement now specifies that a household only includes “the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence” and used by the people who live there. It’s possible the new rules could eventually extend to U.S. subscribers as well.
People share passwords for a number of reasons, one of the main reasons being to save money. As inflation rises, many businesses have increased the cost of their streaming services to keep their business profitable amid current economic uncertainties.
Disney+ Premium, for example, will increase its fee starting October 12 to $13.99, up from $10.99. Hulu’s ad-free tier will cost $17.99, up from $14.99. ESPN+ rises by $1 to $10.99 a month.
Meanwhile, customers are looking for opportunities to curb spending without losing out on entertainment. Over the last few years, monthly spending on streaming subscriptions has declined 25% from $90 in 2021 to $73 in 2023, according to data from Parks Associates. Increasingly, viewers are opting for ad-supported video on demand, or AVOD, and free ad-supported streaming TV, or FAST. AVOD and FAST channels include apps like Freevee, Crackle, Pluto TV, Tubi and Roku Channel.
It’s not certain how Disney+ customers in Canada will respond to the crackdown in the long run. Tighter regulations won’t necessarily mean a drop in subscribers. After Netflix notified subscribers of the password sharing policy changes, the streaming giant saw daily signups rise to 73,000 in the following four days, according to The Verge.