Disney+ to add new payment tier for password sharing soon

It's all getting tighter

DIsney+ on Philips OLED
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)
Quick Summary

Disney is set to offer subscribers a way to add family and friends outside a household for an additional fee.

The company's head said in an interview that this could start to roll out in June.

Disney+ has confirmed that it's following in the steps of other major streaming services by cracking down on password-sharing.

The streaming service has already implemented rules that make this pretty much not allowed, but it hasn't been too aggressive in clamping down until now.

In a recent interview on CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Iger explained that the giant will be "launching our first real foray into password sharing" in June this year.

According to Iger, this will start with "just a few countries in a few markets" before eventually rolling out to everyone in September. 

This comes after the actual rule changes came into force earlier this year, with a similarly staged rollout, and it sounds like it's following in Netflix's footsteps quite carefully.

At first, it sounds like users who are suspected of borrowing someone else's password will be presented with messages encouraging them to buy their own subscriptions without disruption. 

If that's not convenient, it'll also become possible for accounts to add other subscribers for what's been described as "an additional fee". There's no dollar or pound amount attached to that at this point though, so one huge variable in the plan remains unclear. 

What also isn't totally transparent at this stage is whether Disney will also come up with a way to access your account while travelling (on a hotel TV, for example) without triggering the suspicions of whatever tracking system it devises.

That's been one of the main complaints lobbed in the direction of Netflix since it completed a slow u-turn away from embracing password-sharing to make doing so much more challenging.

It can now be a bit more of a hassle logging into your account temporarily from another location, although it's possible that this sort of annoyance will be something that people just have to get used to. 

We've known this change was coming for a while in Disney's case, since it started discussing the idea on earnings calls in the last year, and that change to its rules provided a foundation on which it's now building. 

What territories get the new fee structure first will remain to be seen, but we probably don't have too long to wait to find out. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.