Whether you've got family who live elsewhere or a friend who you want to give an education in entertainment, chances are you've shared a password for one of the best streaming services. If you haven't, then you're either mistaken or a leech yourself (no shame here).
Earlier this year the first domino fell as Netflix introduced a policy that limited password sharing only to those who live in the same house. This was a big turnaround from a company that once tweeted "Love is sharing a password." but it seems to be working, and Disney+ users may be in line for something similar.
According to Reuters, The House of Mouse is planning to implement new measures to its streaming service in India, Disney+ Hotstar, that restrict access to the service. Currently, the ad-based service (which is integrated with Disney+) permits logins on up to 10 different devices, but that number is reportedly dropping to four, with copy on the service's website reflecting this. The cheaper "Super" edition of Disney+ Hotstar will reportedly be downgraded to just 2 devices.
While this is a change mooted solely for the Indian market, the success of Netflix's new policy, with around 6 million new subscribers since the switch is surely a factor. Should it go well, could we expect similar restrictions in the US and UK? Hopefully not.
There are so many subscriptions to juggle these days and with prices for Disney+ and other streaming services (like Spotify) all regularly increasing in price now, further limitations will be tough to take. Hopefully, Mickey will have some mercy on our souls.
While limiting passwords isn't good news, no one wants to see prices go up again and changes like this that encourage new subscribers might be another way to cover costs. This may also help fairly compensate writers and actors, particularly in the face of ongoing industry strikes.
As it stands, Disney+ is a worthwhile subscription for many, with Star Wars and Marvel both in its portfolio and unique shows like The Bear and Only Murders in the Building accompanied by films such as Amsterdam and The Banshees of Inisherin. If subscriber numbers and profits are a concern, offering an essential streaming library should always be the number one way of addressing this.
Let's just hope that Disney doesn't further follow Netflix's example and cancel some of its best shows.