Hulu Forbids Password Sharing in Its New Subscriber Agreement

Hulu is preparing to crack down on account sharing. The company’s Subscriber Agreement, which was updated on January 25th, now states that “you may not share your subscription outside of your household.” Thankfully, this policy isn’t being enforced yet.

Historically, account sharing was a necessary evil. Streaming services repeatedly identified it as lost revenue, but they didn’t have the guts to take action. Everything changed when Netflix decided to ban account sharing on its platform. Netflix gained an influx of new subscribers, steered a ton of customers toward lucrative ad-supported memberships, and reestablished its role as the forerunner of streaming.

Now, Hulu is following the path set by Netflix. Its new Subscriber Agreement explicitly limits service to a user’s household, although it suggests that some membership tiers may include account sharing as a feature. Presumably, this language is intended for a future crackdown, as the new policy remains unenforced.

Section 2, Subsection m: “Unless otherwise permitted by your Service Tier, you may not share your subscription outside of your household … We may, in our sole discretion, analyze the use of your account to determine compliance with this Agreement.”

The upcoming Hulu account-sharing crackdown should come as no surprise. The Walt Disney Company, which owns a partial stake in Hulu, says that a ban on password sharing is “a real priority” in 2024. Anti-account-sharing language was added to the Canadian Disney+ service policy in 2023, though this regional provision, like Hulu’s new policy, is yet to be enforced.

It seems that Disney is still in the preparatory stage of its account-sharing crackdown. The company is nailing down its legal language and (presumably) building a system to audit users. In any case, the perfect opportunity for this crackdown is just on the horizon—Disney is in the process of becoming Hulu’s full owner, and it will debut a combined Disney+ and Hulu app after its acquisition is complete.

Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown led to a massive influx of new subscribers. If the combined Disney+ and Hulu app is accompanied by a password-sharing crackdown, shareholders will have a lot to be excited about. Of course, Disney hasn’t announced its plans, and our assumption may be proven wrong.

You can still share your Hulu account with people outside your household. However, Hulu may begin enforcing its new password-sharing policy by the end of 2024.

Source: Hulu via Reddit & Cord Cutters News


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