Hulu and Disney+ Password Crackdown: Sharing Restrictions Effective from March 14

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Here's what you need to know about the impending Hulu and Disney+ password crackdown coming March 14th, 2024.

The era of freely sharing streaming service passwords may soon come to an end as Hulu and Disney+ subscribers face new limitations on password sharing with people outside of their households. Starting from March 14, 2024, Disney-owned streaming services are adopting a password-crackdown strategy, following in the footsteps of Netflix.

An email notification sent from “The Hulu Team” to subscribers recently informed users that Hulu is “adding limitations on sharing your account outside of your household.” The updated subscriber agreement, effective from January 25, states that subscribers “may not share your subscription outside of your household.” It defines a household as “the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the individuals who reside therein.”

Additionally, the updated terms mention that Hulu may analyze user accounts to ensure compliance with this agreement. If a violation is detected, Hulu reserves the right to restrict, suspend, or terminate access without notice, as per Section 6 of Hulu’s subscriber agreement.

We may, in our sole discretion, analyze the use of your account to determine compliance with this Agreement. If we determine, in our sole discretion, that you have violated this Agreement, we may limit or terminate access to the Service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this Agreement (including those set forth in Section 6 of this Agreement).

Hulu Subscriber Agreement

How will Hulu and Disney+ Know if You Share Your Password?

While it’s not entirely clear how Hulu will analyze account usage, Netflix, which initiated its password crackdown in March 2022 and extended it to the US in May 2023, uses information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity for this purpose, excluding GPS data from devices.

According to the email sent to Hulu subscribers, this policy will apply immediately to new subscribers joining Hulu from this point forward.

Interestingly, the language of Hulu’s updated subscriber agreement aligns with Disney+/ESPN+’s agreement, which also saw revisions on January 25. Disney+ began its password crackdown in Canada in November.

A Disney spokesperson confirmed that Disney+ subscribers in the US have until March 14 to comply with the new policy. However, details on how Disney+ will analyze user accounts remain unspecified.

Hulu and Disney+ Password Crackdown: Bob Iger Warned Us This Was Coming…

Disney CEO Bob Iger hinted at a password crackdown strategy in August, citing significant password sharing among Disney-owned streaming services. The aim is to drive subscriber growth and boost profits, with Disney aiming to make its overall streaming services business profitable by the end of 2024.

While these moves carry the risk of alienating users, Hulu and Netflix have demonstrated success with their password crackdowns, as evidenced by significant subscriber growth. Unlike Disney-owned services, Netflix allows users to add extra members to their non-ad subscription, further enhancing its appeal.

As Disney ventures into making its streaming services profitable, it remains to be seen how the password-sharing restrictions will impact its subscriber base. Additionally, Disney plans to unveil a combined Hulu-Disney+ app, signaling a unique approach in the streaming landscape.

The countdown to March 14 has begun for Hulu and Disney+ subscribers, urging them to reevaluate their password-sharing habits. In an ever-evolving streaming landscape, adapting to these changes might be the key to sustained growth and profitability.

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