Disney CEO Bob Iger said Wednesday that the entertainment behemoth is exploring ways to prevent subscribers of its video streaming service from sharing passwords. Rival Netflix saw a surge in subscribers after it did its own crackdown.
The ad-free versions of Disney+ and Hulu are also getting a price increase this autumn.
Disney looks for ways to prevent password sharing
To many people, password sharing is a way to spread out the cost of streaming services. To the companies that run those services (Disney, Netflix, Apple, etc.), it is the equivalent of pirating software or downloading pirated videos.
In a conference call with analysts, Bob Iger said Disney is “actively exploring ways to address account-sharing and the best options for paying subscribers.”
The reason for the crackdown isn’t hard to guess. Iger also announced Wednesday that Disney+ lost $512 million in its most recent financial quarter.
A hike in subscription fees, too
The House of Mouse is also going with the other obvious way to make streaming profitable: a price increase. The cost of an ad-free Disney+ subscription will jump from $10.99 per month to $13.99 a month. A Hulu ad-free subscription will rise to $17.99 per month, up $3. The changes take effect on October 12, 2023.
The cost of ad-supported subscriptions on either service will stay at $7.99.
For comparison, the lowest-cost ad-free option from Netflix is $15.49 per month. A month of Apple TV+ without commercial interruption is $6.99.
Another option for turning Disney around would be for the company to sell itself to Apple.
What about Apple?
Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing is credited with netting the company 6 million new subscribers last quarter. It’s no surprise if other streaming services follow suit. Whether Apple TV+ will do so at some point is anyone’s guess.
But Apple has already begun raising prices on its streaming service. It went up $2 in late 2022.