When Netflix first announced that it would be restricting password sharing among its users, the move was heavily scrutinized by some observers. What if the maneuver backfired, leading to a loss of viewers for the streaming service’s platforms — and a potential blow to Netflix’s overall prestige? As it turns out, this is not what took place. As Vulture reported earlier this month, the end result of Netflix’s decision seems to have been an uptick in revenue for the company.
All of which begs the question: who might be the next streamer to take steps to limit password sharing? And now, we have the first glimmerings of who’s exploring a similar move. Hint: think Walt.
IndieWire reports that Disney+ is set to begin enforcement of a simultaneous login policy for Disney+ Hotstar in India. (That’s the same branch of Disney+ that recently lost the rights to stream cricket matches from the Indian Premier League.) Reuters initially reported that Disney+ planned to begin enforcing a policy that limited Disney+ Hotstar subscribers from being logged in on more than four devices at the same time.
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As IndieWire notes, the issue isn’t so much with the password policy than with the enforcement to date. So far, Disney+ Hotstar users have been able to log in to the same account on up to 10 devices at the same time; soon, that’s set to end. But a similar policy exists for Disney+ in the U.S. — and it’s not hard to think that a similar uptick in enforcement could be on the way here as well.
To be fair, Disney+’s move does not seem to echo Netflix’s policy of restricting accounts to specific households, with more stringent limits on devices and geographic locations. But it is a password crackdown of sorts — and it’s unlikely to be the last of its kind in the streaming space.
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