Earlier this week it was confirmed that Disney Plus will be kicking off a password sharing crackdown for U.S. subscribers from March 14. Now, during an earnings call, Disney’s chief financial officer High Johnston has revealed some more information about how the ban will be enforced.
According to Johnston any users “suspected of improper sharing” will be given the option to sign up for their own Disney Plus subscription. Users will also be able to add people outside their household for an “additional fee” — which is exactly what Netflix has done with its own anti-sharing strategies.
Unfortunately there was no mention of how much this approved form of account sharing will actually cost. Netflix charges $8 a month for that, which is more than the price of an ad-supported subscription but just over half the cost of an ad-free Standard subscription.
While Disney Plus’s pricing is slightly different, it stands to reason that the company would pick a price somewhere between its two subscription options. The Basic tier, which has ads, is $8 a month, while the Premium tier which is $14 a month and ad-free. I would guess that Disney would pick a price between the two — Possibly $10 or $11.
Of course the whole thing is complicated by Disney Plus’s relationship with Disney-owned Hulu. I have no doubt that Hulu will also be implementing a paid password-sharing option as well. But things get tricky when you remember both services are available as a bundle.
That bundle offers a discount compared to separate subscriptions, with bundle subscribers gaining access to a more unified library later this year. So Disney is going to have to balance the “add a new household fee” for bundle subscribers as well as those with solo Disney Plus and Hulu accounts.
According to Johnston the whole idea behind this is to “reach as large an audience as possible with [Disney’s] outstanding content.” Apparently this new feature will help grow Disney’s subscriber base, as it has done with Netflix, and “improve the overall customer experience”.
Not quite sure how asking people to pay more is going to improve their experience, frankly. We all know these crackdowns are all about the money, trying to keep streaming profitable and the shareholders happy.
There’s no word on when this new feature will roll out, but considering Disney is set to crackdown on password sharing for existing subscribers from March 14, I expect that this opportunity to add more money to Disney’s Scrooge McDuck-style coffers will be ready pretty soon after.
More from Tom's Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.