After Netflix, Disney to limit account-sharing in India: Story in 5 points

By Ankita Chakravarti: Disney+ Hotstar, the streaming service of The Walt Disney Company, is following the footsteps of Netflix by limiting account sharing in India. Currently, a premium account of Disney+ Hotstar allows users to log in from up to 10 devices. However, the company plans to start enforcing a policy of allowing only four logins per account later this year. This is similar to what Netflix did in May 2023, when it started charging users extra to share their passwords with people outside their household.

The move by Disney+ Hotstar is likely an attempt to increase revenue, as the company is facing increasing competition from other streaming services in India. It is also possible that the company is concerned about the impact of password sharing on its ability to deliver a high-quality streaming experience.

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Here are the five key takeaways.

—Following in the footsteps of Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar is set to introduce a new policy aimed at curbing account sharing among its premium users in India. The streaming platform plans to limit the number of devices that can access a single premium account to a maximum of four. By taking this step, Disney+ Hotstar aims to address the issue of password sharing and promote individual subscriptions, ensuring a fair and sustainable revenue model.â€è

—As part of their strategy, Disney+ Hotstar is currently conducting internal tests to gauge the effectiveness of their new enforcement policy. This step comes after the streaming giant initially adopted a more lenient approach, hoping to attract a wider audience with easy login policies. However, findings from the internal testing revealed that only around 5 per cent of premium subscribers accessed their accounts from more than four devices, making it clear that stricter measures were required.â€è

—The move by Disney+ Hotstar comes after Netflix’s recent rollout of paid sharing features in India. Under this new change, Netflix users are no longer able to share their account passwords with friends, marking a significant shift in their approach to tackling account sharing. Netflix has been proactively combatting this issue on a global scale, and in India, they have started sending warning emails to members found to be sharing their accounts outside their households.â€è

—The primary objective behind both Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix’s measures is to encourage users to opt for their own individual subscriptions rather than relying on shared accounts. By limiting the number of devices that can access a premium account, the streaming platforms hope to incentivize users to subscribe independently, leading to a more sustainable revenue stream and improved user experience.â€è

—For Netflix users, a Household means a collection of internet-connected devices utilized to access content at the main viewing location. This definition includes devices connected to the same internet connection as the TV used to create the Netflix Household. The new policy aims to ensure that account sharing is limited to individuals within a single household, deterring password sharing with friends or acquaintances.â€è

The efforts by both Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar to restrict account sharing in India represent a strategic move towards boosting individual subscriptions and creating a more viable business model. By conducting internal trials and setting device limits, these streaming giants seek to strike a balance between providing user convenience and maintaining a fair revenue structure, ultimately benefiting both the companies and their subscribers.

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