All streaming services have decided to copy Netflix’s model: advertising, price increase in rates and goodbye to sharing accounts. Unfortunately for everyone, there are fewer and fewer services that bet on the user.
And Disney+ has chosen a side. Disney’s offensive against password sharing will officially begin this summer. Hugh Johnston, Disney’s CFO, stated on Wednesday at an earnings conference that Disney+ accounts “suspected of improperly sharing passwords” will have the option to subscribe on their own.
Disney will also start allowing account holders to add people outside their household for an “additional fee”, just like Netflix does, but it didn’t say how much it will cost.
“We want to reach the widest possible audience with our excellent content,” said Johnston. “We are looking forward to rolling out this new functionality to enhance the overall customer experience and grow our subscriber base.”
This year, both Disney Plus and Hulu have updated their terms of service to prohibit users from sharing their subscriptions with people outside their households. The new terms started applying to new subscribers on January 25th, but will reach existing members on March 14th.
Netflix already launched a similar shared payment version last year, costing subscribers an extra $7.99 (in Europe it’s 5.99 euros) per month to add someone located outside their home.
Policies that make them lose audience, but make more money
The company’s results report also revealed that Disney Plus lost 1.3 million subscribers in the US and Canada following last year’s price increases, while Hulu added 1.2 million members.
On Tuesday, ESPN, owned by Disney, unveiled its plans to launch a new live sports streaming service in collaboration with Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery.
The service, still unnamed, will be launched this fall and will also be available to subscribers of the Disney Plus package with Hulu and ESPN Plus. It seems that even live sports will have a place in streaming and not just on traditional television.