Hulu is set to start cracking down on password and account sharing, following a similar move from Disney+.
The Disney-owned streaming service on Wednesday sent an email to subscribers notifying them of its updated subscriber agreement, one that explicitly prohibits the sharing of accounts outside the user's home.
“Unless otherwise permitted by your service tier, you may not share your subscription outside of your household,” the change to the agreement said. “The term ‘home’ refers to the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence and used by the individuals who reside there.”
The new agreement is dated January 25, and says the terms will become effective March 12.
“We may, in our sole discretion, analyze the use of your account to determine compliance with this Agreement.” “If we determine, in our sole discretion, that you have violated this Agreement, we may restrict or terminate your access to the Service and/or take any other steps as permitted under this Agreement.”
The changes to Hulu's agreement follow similar language in the Disney+ subscriber agreement late last year.
The move by Hulu and Disney+ to crack down on password sharing and account sharing was made by Disney CEO Bob Iger last August on the company's earnings call.
“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 at the time, adding, “We will roll out monetization tactics sometime in 2024.”
This comes after Netflix announced significant growth in the number of subscribers for two consecutive quarters (22 million combined), attributing this to its successful password-sharing campaign. Netflix's apparent success in this area has prompted competitors to pursue similar strategies, working carefully to identify accounts that share passwords, and gently nudging them to subscribe, perhaps at the less expensive ad-supported tier.
Hulu, of course, was an early adopter of the streaming service, launching in 2008. However, it hasn't explicitly banned account sharing outside of households yet.
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