Hulu Kicks Off Disney’s Password Sharing Crackdown, Says it Can ‘Terminate’ Your Account at its Discretion




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Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger warned that it would begin taking measures to crack down on password sharing. It looks like it’s starting to happen with Hulu.

Hulu began sending customers emails with an updated subscriber agreement that specifically pointed to new “limitations on sharing your account outside of your household.” The terms also go into detail about how it’ll verify whether you remain in “compliance with these limitations.” The subscriber agreement itself contains more detail about these new terms including how it will be able analyze your account to see if other people outside of the household are using it.

Ominously, the terms give Disney the right to limit or “terminate” your access at its sole discretion.

It’s unclear whether this is the start of a full crackdown or if Disney is inserting legal language in preparation for such a move. The company declined to comment on the revised agreement.

Disney’s move in this direction follows a similar crackdown that Netflix rolled out to many of its subscribers last year. It came after years of the company letting users share without consequence, with the belief that the larger overall audience would be good for its content. But it’s a new day, and streaming services are tightening their belts and looking to turn a profit on these services. With Netflix’s crackdown actually yielding new customers who signed up after getting booted from the service, Disney is hoping to replicate some of this success.

It could be that Disney is getting its house in order to roll out a firmer crackdown. Iger teased this would happen in August, but in November said that the effort wouldn’t begin until 2025. He said at the time that the company was focused on putting the technology used to crack down on password-sharing into its services this year.

“There’s no meaningful impact until 2025,” Iger said on a conference call with investors on Wednesday to discuss its fiscal fourth-quarter results.

So Hulu users may still get a reprieve, even if the wording in their subscriber agreement opens the door to a crackdown at any time.

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