We’re all guilty of it — we learn that one friend or family member has a streaming service and you ask to jump aboard his or her account. In exchange for a coveted password, you hand over a password to another streaming service you use. The result? You and your acquaintances have access to dozens of streaming services while only paying for one or two.
Though nobody has ever really questioned the ethics of sharing streaming services, if you stopped and thought about it for a minute, you’d realize that these services actually lose money because of password sharing. It turns out that in some cases, sharing is not caring, as several streaming services are now teaming up to put a stop to it — with Disney spearheading the movement.
Disney & Charter Communications Team Up
Disney and Charter Communications, the nation’s second-biggest cable company, have recently announced that they’ve partnered to provide viewers with a “comprehensive distribution agreement” that allows Spectrum to continue to provide its customers with Disney’s robust lineup of premier entertainment, news, and sports.
In a joint statement that came shortly after the announcement, the two companies also informed the public that they plan to “work together on piracy mitigation.” Though right now the answer to the question of, “Can you keep sharing streaming services?“ is tentative “Yes,” that may change in the very near future.
Though they are unclear about how they plan to put a stop to password sharing for streaming services, the two companies are in the process of developing techniques and policies that aim to address password sharing and unauthorized access to services.
Disney and Charter Aren’t the Only Ones
It may come as no surprise that many of the big-name streaming services don’t want to continue losing out on profit due to account holders’ “generosity.” Netflix explicitly states in its terms of service that password sharing is a violation of the service agreement. However, it has yet to implement a method for enforcing this provision.
Hulu currently limits the number of users that can stream at once to two people, and prevents streaming once users reach that maximum number. However, it does allow account holders to add extra devices for an additional fee.
YouTube offers a five-person family group package but limits the number of simultaneous streams to three. Amazon Prime may be just about the only service, as of yet, that has somewhat figured out a solution. Because Prime accounts link to a credit card, most users don’t feel comfortable handing out their password to acquaintances or even other family members.
What This Means for You
Sadly, it seems as if the good ol’ days of sharing streaming services is coming to an end. Until Disney, Charter, and other big-name services figure out the secret to end password sharing, however, you can still continue swapping account info with your teen, neighbor, and the guy from accounting without fear of any repercussions (except, maybe, a guilty conscience).