Password Sharing Crackdown: New Rules for Hulu and ESPN+ Users

Password Sharing Crackdown: New Rules for Hulu and ESPN+ Users

Penka Hristovska Penka Hristovska
Published on: February 1, 2024

Disney+ is expanding its efforts to prevent password sharing, a policy that will now also apply to ESPN+ and Hulu — the latter of which is merging with Disney.

The company announced the new rules in an email to Hulu subscribers, explaining that starting on March 14, it’ll be “adding limitations on sharing your account outside of your household.”

Hulu also updated its Terms of Service this week to reflect the company’s new approach: “Unless otherwise permitted by your Service Tier, you may not share your subscription outside of your household,” the ToS reads. It defines a household as “the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the individuals who reside therein.”

Disney+ and ESPN+ user agreements also directly prohibit users from impersonating others by using their usernames or passwords.

“You agree not to impersonate or misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity, including using another person’s username, password or other account information, or another person’s name or likeness, or provide false details for a parent or guardian,” the agreement terms say.
They further explain how the company could analyze accounts to check whether they’re complying with the password-sharing rules. Those who breach the terms may face restrictions or termination of their accounts.

The changes in the user agreement come after Disney CEO Bob Iger said in August they plan on addressing the password-sharing issue in 2024.
“We certainly have established this as a real priority. We actually think that there’s an opportunity here to help us grow our business,” he said on the company’s fiscal third-quarter earnings call.

Netflix was the first of the streaming giants to start cracking down on password sharing. Per its rules, multiple people are allowed to use and share 1 account, provided they all live in the same household. Despite the initial backlash, data shows that subscriptions on the platform have risen in response to Netflix’s move.

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