Max joins Netflix and Disney in password sharing crackdown — starts later this year

Max on a TV screen with a bowl of popcorn
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Max is joining the password sharing crackdown movement, joining Netflix, Disney Plus in Hulu among the best streaming services that won't let you share your password.

The move was officially announced at Morgan Stanley’s 2024 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco on Monday (March 4) by President of Global Streaming and Games JB Perrette (h/t The Wrap). When officially announcing the impending crackdown, Perrette said "We think, relative to the scale of our business, it’s a meaningful opportunity.” 

Max will begin its password sharing crackdown later this year and then fully roll out the program in 2025. That means you only have a few more months of using someone else's account to watch Max's library of shows and movies.

Bad news — password sharing crackdowns work

Of course, Max isn't the first streaming service to engage in a password sharing crackdown. It's actually nearly the last. 

Just don't expect this to be the end of password sharing crackdowns. With Peacock and Paramount merger talks ongoing and Paramount Plus eyeing profitability in 2025, it'd be a shock if it isn't next to join in the password sharing crackdown parade.

Netflix kicked off the movement, veering away from a feature of streaming that it had once championed, back in early 2023 with the first major password-sharing crackdown. People were outraged, assumed it was a massive error on Netflix's part and expected subscription numbers to collapse.

And then ... they didn't. In fact, it worked brilliantly for Netflix. Netflix reported "more new subscriptions in the U.S. ... than in any other four-day period" during the end of May and 6 million new subscribers in Q2 2023. That number grew in Q3, with another 8.8 million subscribers joining the streaming service and Netflix declaring itself "completely satisfied" with the password-sharing crackdown.

So it's no surprise that the other streaming services — all of which are still struggling to turn a profit — are following Netflix's example. Hulu announced its password-sharing crackdown on Feb. 1 and Disney Plus confirmed its password-sharing crackdown a mere six days later. Both password-sharing crackdowns will begin rolling out on March 14.

Max still hasn't confirmed the exact date of its crackdown, though the timetable proposed by Perrette suggests a Q4 2024 start and a full rollout in Q1 or Q2 2025. Just don't expect this to be the end of password-sharing crackdowns. With Peacock and Paramount merger talks ongoing and Paramount Plus seeking paths to profitability in 2025, it'd be a shock if it isn't next to join in the password-sharing crackdown parade.

More from Tom's Guide

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.