Netflix may be the top dog in streaming services, but it became as ubiquitous as it did for one reason: account sharing. Account sharing is exactly as it sounds, i.e. sharing your account with multiple people. For families with multiple children, it’s a godsend that you can sign in to a single account across multiple devices and stream at the same time. While obviously limited so that your entire neighborhood doesn’t get in on that deal, it’s still nonetheless one of the defining points of a Netflix membership. As of right now, it looks like Disney won’t be offering the same for its forthcoming Disney+ service.
In a press release from Charter Communications yesterday, the cable provider announced that it had teamed up with Disney to “work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.” As noted above, that basically amounts to no account sharing or severely limited access to such a feature. Considering the source, it seems likely this will be a full lockout.
In the past, Charter’s CEO Tom Rutledge has spoken out against the practice of account sharing. As Ars Technica reports, Rutledge stated in 2017, “There’s lots of extra streams, there’s lots of extra passwords, there’s lots of people who could get free service.” Along with fighting sharing with this deal, Charter will continue to carry Disney content across its cable packages, which includes channels like ABC, National Geographic, ESPN, and a few others. That smells like a set-up, to me.
So while this could all be jumping to conclusions, I wouldn’t expect your entire family to be piggybacking off of a single Disney+ subscription. I guess that cheap price was too good to be true.