In a bid to combat password sharing, Disney is gearing up to join the likes of Netflix in combatting password sharing. During a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed the company’s proactive stance, stating that they are “actively exploring ways to address account sharing.” The concept of password sharing crackdown in streaming was made popular by Netflix which started the service in the United States with plans to roll it pout globally. This became necessary as Netflix said password sharing was hurting its revenue and subscriber numbers. In fact, before this last quarter which was good on subscriber numbers and revenue, Netflix was losing money. Following the crackdown on password sharing in the United States, Netflix actually had a great quarter unlike Disney which released its earnings report yesterday.
Iger’s announcement underscores Disney’s intention to adapt to the evolving streaming landscape and maximize subscription revenue. He indicated that the company will introduce updates to their subscriber agreements and sharing policies later this year. Additionally, Disney plans to unveil tactics to enhance monetization by 2024. This move takes inspiration from Netflix, which recently initiated a fee for account sharing outside of a user’s household.
While the extent of password sharing across Disney’s services remains undisclosed, Iger acknowledged its is significantly affecting the platform. He emphasized that Disney has the technological means to monitor user logins and plans to address the issue by 2024.
Acknowledging the potential impact on the calendar year 2024, Iger said this endeavour aligns with Disney’s growth strategy. He articulated, “We certainly have established this as a real priority, and we actually think that there’s an opportunity here to help us grow our business.”
Apart from password-sharing discussions, Disney unveiled another strategic move — a new ad-free bundle comprising Disney Plus and Hulu, priced at $19.99 per month. This bundle, set to launch in the US on September 6th, will affect individual subscription costs. While Disney Plus’ ad-free plan will see an increase to $13.99 per month (from $10.99), Hulu’s ad-free version will be priced at $17.99 per month (up from $14.99). Ad-supported subscription costs for both platforms remain unaffected.
Despite a slight dip in Disney Plus subscribers in the US and Canada, and a modest shift in numbers for ESPN Plus and Hulu, witnessed a substantial decline of over 12 million subscribers since April. This plummet can be attributed to the loss of streaming rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year. This scenario underscores the dynamic nature of the streaming landscape and its vulnerability to content shifts.
Iger’s strategic vision for Disney, outlined in an earlier interview, highlights a focus on core areas for growth. He plans to scale back spending on Marvel and Star Wars productions, while also hinting at the potential sale of non-core cable networks like ABC, FX, and National Geographic.
Iger stated, “They are our film studios, our parks business, and streaming, all of which are inextricably linked to our brands and franchises.”
Amid these developments, Iger’s contract with Disney has been extended until at least 2026. His leadership aims to steer Disney through these transformative times, marked by significant shifts in the entertainment landscape.