Disney+, Hulu password-sharing crackdown starts Thursday

An increasing number of streaming platforms have started making sure that consumers are not giving out access to their accounts to others — and now Hulu and Disney+ are joining the trend.

Earlier this year, the streaming services announced they would be cracking down on password sharing

The new policies were scheduled to go into effect on Thursday, March 14, which means subscribers may now start feeling the effects of the streamers’ push to keep them from sharing passwords.

Currently, Hulu and Disney+ do not allow subscribers to share their subscriptions outside their households. According to the streaming platforms, "Household" refers to the collection of devices associated with the subscriber’s primary personal residence that are used by the individuals who reside therein. Additional usage rules may apply for certain Service Tiers. 

Hulu cracks down on password sharing

On Feb. 1, Hulu sent an email to existing subscribers notifying them of an updated subscriber agreement that places limitations on sharing accounts outside of the user’s household.

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"Unless otherwise permitted by your Service Tier, you may not share your subscription outside of your household," Hulu wrote in the email. "

They continued: "We may, in our sole discretion, analyze the use of your account to determine compliance with this Agreement. If we determine, in our sole discretion, that you have violated this Agreement, we may limit or terminate access to the Service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this Agreement." 

Disney+ restricts password sharing

The changes to the Hulu agreement follow similar language in the Disney+ and ESPN+ subscriber agreements.

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Late last year, an email was sent to Disney+ users in Canada and informed customers that the service would begin restricting their "ability to share your account or login credentials outside of your household."


In this photo illustration, the Disney+ logo is displayed on a smartphone screen, next to a login screen, with email, password and sign in. (Credit: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Disney updated its Subscriber Agreement in Canada to restrict the use of one account by multiple people not covered by a subscription tier.

All three user agreements (Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+) were last updated on January 25, but it is unclear when the password-sharing language was added to the agreements for Disney+ and ESPN+.

Password sharing crackdown fueled by Netflix’s success

This news comes after Netflix recently reported big subscriber growth.

Netflix announced it had a record number of subscribers in its fourth-quarter earnings report.

The streaming giant noted how ad memberships increased by nearly 70% in the final quarter of 2023 – thanks in part to the phasing out of its Basic plan for new and rejoining members.

Netflix began cracking down on password sharing last May after it rolled out a plan in several countries in February to deter account holders from the behavior. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.