Streaming service password sharing is fairly common among consumers and companies have tolerated it but that just might change…
Disney+ leaped into the streaming market, amassing over 10 million subscriptions in only 24-hours. During the first day, the mobile app experienced 3.2 million installs, and viewers streamed a total 2 million hours of the original series, The Mandalorian.
With such impressive figures, Disney is off to a very strong start. Simple arithmetic works out to $69.9 million dollars over the course of a single day. But, not everyone who streamed actually paid money to watch. A good percentage opted into the free trial, while others used the now common practice of sharing passwords.
Streaming Service Password Sharing Okay, for Now, at Least
With Disney Plus, subscribers can have up to four accounts or profiles, who can all watch concurrently on separate devices. Netflix offers much the same benefits, as do other streaming services.
Password sharing is very popular among consumers, and the streaming services are fully aware of this. They allow customers to share their passwords, not out of benevolence, but ultimately for net gain.
First and foremost is a growth strategy. Streaming services now allow some customers to let non-subscribers borrow their passwords but these situations are mostly temporary. A sizable percentage of password borrowers will go on to pay for the service at some point.
Second, another reason streaming services tolerate password sharing is due to anti-piracy. It’s far better to grant some liberty with licensing, rather than have people pirate content.
Third, competition also curiously promotes password sharing. Regardless of who is streaming content, the hours viewed are still clocked, adding to overall engagement numbers.
But, streaming services won’t allow this practice to go unchecked forever. Michael Paull, president of Disney Streaming Services, said during a Disney+ media preview last week:
“We have created some technology that’s in the backend that we will use to understand behavior. And when we see behavior that doesn’t make sense, we have mechanisms that we’ve put in place that will deal with it.”
In other words, Disney is ready to limit password sharing if not outright shut it down. Once Disney+ takes that step, it’s likely others will follow.