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TV Analyst Jeff Richey Shares His Thoughts On Disney+ Decision On They’re Down With Password Crackdown Announcement


10 August 2023

Taking a page from Netflix’s playbook, Disney chief Bob Iger announced that the media conglomerate has put a priority on finding ways to convert password-borrowing users into paying customers.

“We are actively exploring ways to address account sharing and the best options for paying subscribers to share their accounts with friends and family,” Iger said on Disney’s quarterly earnings call Aug. 9. “Later this year, we will begin to update our subscriber agreements with additional terms on our sharing policies, and we will roll out tactics to drive monetisation sometime in 2024.”

 

 

Netflix in mid-May rolled out its paid-sharing program in more than 100 countries, aimed at pushing illicit password-borrowers to get their own account or having customers add non-household users as an “extra member.” For the second quarter, Netflix added 5.9 million subscribers — more than double the most bullish analyst forecasts. “We’re seeing that it’s working,” Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters said on the streamer’s earnings interview. “We’re positive in terms of both revenue and subscribers relative to pre-launch in all of our regions.”

 

 

Iger, responding to an analyst’s question about how widespread the issue of password sharing is for Disney+ and its other service, declined to get into specifics. “I’m not going to give you a specific number, except to say that it’s significant.

What we don’t know, of course, is as we get to work on this, how much of the password sharing as we basically eliminate it will convert to growth in subs. Obviously, we believe there will be some, but we’re not speculating.”

What we are saying, though, is that in calendar ’24, we’re going to get at this issue. And so while it is likely you’ll see some impact in calendar ’24, it’s possible that we won’t be complete or the work will not be completed within the calendar year. But we certainly have established this as a real priority. And we actually think that there’s an opportunity here to help us grow our business.”

For the three months ended July 1, Disney+’s subscriber count inched up by 800,000, an increase of 1% sequentially to 105.7 million (excluding Disney+ Hotstar, which saw subs drop 24% after Disney lost IPL cricket rights). In the U.S. and Canada, Disney+ shed about 300,000 customers to stand at 46.0 million. Hulu added 300,000 in the period to reach 44.0 million, and ESPN+ was roughly flat at 25.2 million.

Following Disney+'s decision to crack down on password sharing, The Fan Carpet have the following comments from Jeff Richey, TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad.

 

 

Jeff Richey, TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad, comments “A seismic shift is rippling through the streaming landscape, with yet another major platform announcing plans to crack down on password sharing.

For users sharing an account, this may feel like another kick in the teeth as they will be booted off yet another platform and forced to pay for their own subscription. On top of this, Disney+ is increasing the cost of its ad-free streaming service in the US this autumn. This, coupled with the November launch of Disney+'s new ad tier in the UK, means Brits should be primed for price rises later this year. 

This strategic manoeuvre by Disney+ is aimed at reclaiming revenue and increasing subscriber numbers. Its decision follows in the footsteps of its rival, Netflix, which was the first streamer to put an end to password sharing.

But as early reports suggest that Netflix’s revenue is up and sign-ups have exceeded expectations, it’s no surprise that other services are now following suit as they hope to reap the same rewards.

It comes at a busy time for Disney which also recently announced the end of DVDs and Blu-Rays in Australia - which could deliver another huge boost to its streaming platform’s bottom line.

Assuming other territories follow suit, Brits who want to find classic movies like The Lion King or Frozen for their kids will increasingly need to subscribe to Disney+.”

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ABOUT DISNEY+
Disney+
is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, along with The Simpsons and much more. In select international markets, it also includes the general entertainment content brand, Star. The flagship direct-to-consumer streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ offers an ever-growing collection of exclusive originals, including feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. With unprecedented access to Disney’s long history of incredible film and television entertainment, Disney+ is also the exclusive streaming home for the newest releases from The Walt Disney Studios.

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