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Disney+ will crack down on password sharing in June

Gabby Jones/Bloomberg/Getty Images/File via CNN Newsource

By Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN

New York (CNN) — Disney is curbing password sharing for its Disney+ streaming service as part of a larger effort to boost signups and revenue.

CEO Bob Iger, in a CNBC interview on Thursday, said its popular Disney+ streaming service will start cracking down on password sharing in June in some countries and more broadly in September. Although Disney+ and Disney’s other streaming services’ terms of service explicitly prevent customers from impersonating someone else by using their username or password, it hasn’t been broadly enforcing its policy.

Hulu, one of Disney’s other streaming services, began limiting how often customers can share account login information outside their households starting on March 14.

The crackdown comes as its rival Netflix has attributed a jump in signups from its recent crackdown on password sharing. Shortly after the crackdown went into effect last May, Netflix added 100,000 new accounts on the following two days, according to data from Antenna. Netflix had also achieved a more than 100% increase in sign-ups from the prior 60-day average.

A similar boost at Disney could help move the company’s streaming platform toward profitability. Disney+ continues to lose money, although the company said it expects to turn a profit soon.

“Netflix is the gold standard in streaming,” Iger said in the interview. “They’ve done a phenomenal job and a lot of different directions. I actually have very, very high regard for what they’ve accomplished. If we can only accomplish what they’ve accomplished, that would be great.”

Iger also said Disney+ has also consolidated its streaming business but didn’t elaborate on which departments or roles.

The password crackdown had been expected for months. On an earnings call with investors last year, Iger said a looming crackdown would help Disney grow.

“We certainly have established this as a real priority,” Iger said on Disney’s fiscal third-quarter earnings call. “We actually think that there’s an opportunity here to help us grow our business.”

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