The Walt Disney Company is to implement concrete actions against account sharing for its streaming platforms on November 1. The first territory to be affected by the new measures is Canada. In an e-mail sent to Disney+ subscribers in Canada, the company informed them about the implementation of “restrictions on the ability to share their accounts or login credentials outside of their households”.
In line with the notification, the OTT has updated its terms and conditions. The e-mail included the following warning: “We may, in our sole discretion, analyze the use of your account to determine compliance with this agreement; if we determine that you have violated this agreement, we may limit or terminate access to the service.” Disney has not made any official communication since it sent the e-mail, which is why there are no details as to how it plans to control account sharing. In August 2023, the company announced its decision to tackle the problem by updating subscription agreements in the first place and by putting in place strategies “aimed at monetizing” account sharing in 2024. In fact, the updated version of the terms and conditions contains the following addition: “Unless otherwise permitted by your service tier”, from which it may be inferred that the company will soon offer the possibility to share accounts by paying an additional fee or launch new plans allowing account sharing.
The first move by Disney to combat account sharing was taken in India, though the change there merely consisted in the reduction of the number of devices each subscriber was allowed to use simultaneously. No direct restriction on account sharing was imposed.
In this way, Disney follows in Netflix’s footsteps. A global pioneer in the battle against account sharing, Netlfix implemented a policy to combat it in most countries earlier this year, after having conducted trials and adopted limited measures in specific territories for several years.