Disney+ launches crackdown on password sharing

Disney+ will begin cracking down on password sharing within months, it has been announced.

Walt Disney chief executive Bob Iger said the action would start in June in "a few" countries before a full rollout across the world in September.

Sky News asked the company when exactly the changes will come into force in the UK, but it declined to comment.

Rival streaming platform Netflix launched its own crackdown last year.

Disney+ is expected to introduce similar measures, which are designed to stop users from sharing their login details with people living in a different household, allowing them to watch the service's films and programmes for free.

Like Netflix, users suspected of breaking the platform's rules will be sent warnings.

Subscribers will also be offered the option of paying extra to share their account with people in another home, according to comments by Disney's chief financial officer Hugh Johnston during an investor call earlier this year.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr Iger said the crackdown would help "turn this business into a business that we feel really good about", including by boosting sign-ups and revenue.

He said: "We've had some success there. We need more success...

"Netflix is the gold standard in streaming. They've done a phenomenal job.

"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."

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Last summer Disney+ announced it was shaking up its pricing in the UK, including by offering a cheaper tier with adverts, after losing 11.7 million customers internationally.

At the time, Mr Iger also revealed that the company intended to eventually tackle the issue of password sharing, but did not provide further details.

Netflix has hailed its crackdown as a success and in January reported a surge in subscribers which it partly attributed to the measures.

Password sharing is among a string of issues faced by the entertainment industry as it struggles to adapt to the rapid expansion of the streaming sector.

Rows over royalties for performers and writers on streaming platforms were a key factor behind strikes in the US last year which shut down the production of Hollywood films and TV shows.