In a bid to address the prevalent issue of password sharing and encourage individual subscriptions, Disney+ Hotstar is set to enforce a new login policy for its premium users. According to a report by Reuters citing sources close to the matter, the company plans to limit the number of devices that can log in with a premium account to a maximum of four.
The move comes as a response to the practice of sharing passwords, which has been impacting the revenue and growth potential of the streaming service. Previously, Disney+ Hotstar’s premium accounts allowed logins to as many as 10 devices, giving users more flexibility.
Netflix, a key competitor in the streaming market also recently rolled out a similar crackdown on password sharing across more than 100 countries, including India which compelled subscribers to pay more for sharing the service with people outside their households.
Internal testing at Disney+ Hotstar revealed that only a small fraction, approximately 5% of premium subscribers, logged in from more than four devices. Therefore, the company believes that enforcing this new restriction will have a limited impact on the majority of its premium users, while effectively deterring password sharing.
The premium plan always officially supported a maximum of 4 devices only, however, Disney+ Hotstar was lenient in the implementation of this policy and allowed subscribers to log in to up to 10 devices at a time which is set to be changed. As of now, Disney has not officially commented on the login policy.
The streaming market in India has seen exponential growth and has become fiercely competitive, with key players like Disney, Netflix, Amazon, and JioCinema eyeing a share of the pie. Media Partners Asia estimates that the Indian streaming sector is projected to be worth $7 billion by 2027. Currently, Hotstar leads the market with approximately 50 million users, surpassing competitors like Netflix and Prime Video.