The Walt Disney Co. and Charter Communications are joining forces in an effort to prevent consumers from sharing their streaming passwords, though the companies haven’t disclosed how they will crack down on the practice.
While Netflix has assumed a more benevolent attitude, Disney appears to be taking password sharing more seriously as it prepares to launch its Disney+ streaming service in November.
Disney’s new digital streaming platform is expected to make a big splash with original TV shows and movies as well as library content from the vaults of Disney and Fox.
In a recent announcement, Disney and Charter said they have “agreed to work together on piracy mitigation. The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.”
But the companies didn’t provide any details on how they will accomplish those goals.
Cable companies have been cracking down harder on streaming account sharing.
A 2017 Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 20 percent of streaming users aged between 18 and 24 admitted to using the login credentials of someone living outside their household when watching streaming media.
Ars Technica noted that Charter CEO Tom Rutledge has complained about account sharing several times in the past few years.
Charter said it will continue carrying Disney-owned TV channels, such as ABC and various ESPN channels. Charter’s Spectrum TV will also offer customers access to ESPN’s college sports channel ACC Network when it launches this month.
The sharing of streaming passwords has become a commonplace practice not just among immediate family members, but also between friends looking to save money on subscriptions.
Netflix has taken a less strict approach to password sharing. CEO Reed Hastings has said individuals who borrow someone else’s account often become paying subscribers down the road.
Disney recently said it will offer consumers a skinny bundle featuring Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 per month. The price puts the bundle in-line price-wise with Netflix’s standard subscription plan.
As a standalone service, Disney+ will cost subscribers $6.99 per month.
Disney announced Monday that the new service, which is set to debut Nov. 12 in the U.S., will be available in Canada and the Netherlands on the same day, followed a week later by Australia and in New Zealand.