Following in the footsteps of Netflix, both Hulu and Disney+ password sharing crackdowns are now underway.
Disney+ began its clampdown in Canada, and is now emailing US members to announce new terms and conditions which specifically include restrictions on sharing passwords across households …
A relatively common way for young people in particular to save money is to use their parents’ streaming video logins in their own homes, or for friends across households to share an account.
What amounts to a saving for the viewer represents a lost opportunity to sell an additional subscription to the streaming companies, however.
Netflix kicked things off a year ago, initially outside the US, before bringing it to the US too back in May of last year.
In a post on its Innovation blog, Netflix announced that it will now begin notifying subscribers who are sharing accounts between households of the need to pay up.
“A Netflix account is for use by one household,” the company states. “Everyone living in that household can use Netflix wherever they are — at home, on the go, on holiday — and take advantage of new features like Transfer Profile and Manage Access and Devices.”
Hulu and Disney+ password sharing crackdown
Disney+ last year followed suit in Canada, and has now begin notifying US account holders that it will be doing the same here.
We’re adding limitations on sharing your account outside of your household, and explaining how we may assess your compliance with these limitations.
The Verge notes that Hulu is also getting in on the action.
Hulu has just laid the groundwork to kick friends, family, and freeloaders off its streaming service unless they pay for their own accounts. This week, the company revised its Terms of Service to explicitly ban password sharing outside of “your primary personal residence,” and it’s begun to tell subscribers they’ll need to comply by March 14th, 2024.
A variety of signals are used to check
Checking the IP address is one way companies can check whether or not people are logging in from more than one location, with most aiming to detect and block usage of VPN services.
But a variety of other signals are used, such as detecting a pattern of two or more users viewing different content at the same time. While this is permitted within the same home, it’s likely to be done less frequently within a household.
To allow use while travelling, Netflix allows use from different geo-locations so long as you login from your registered address at least once a month.
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