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March 2, 2024

Hulu Gets Tough on Password Sharing, Will Start Banning Violators Next Month

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Feb 1, 2024

Hulu is the latest streaming service to announce a crackdown on password sharing. The Disney-owned platform plans to start taking action against password sharers beginning March 14th.

Background

The move comes on the heels of similar measures from Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube to limit password sharing between households. Media companies have been increasingly concerned about lost subscription revenue from the common practice.

While password sharing has been tolerated in the past, the rapid rise of streaming has led providers to tighten access. According to Antenna, a data analytics firm, the average streaming account is shared between 2-3 households in the US. With subscription costs rising, platforms are now incentivized to convert sharers into paying subscribers.

Hulu’s Plan

Hulu will require all users to periodically verify their home location starting March 14th. Those unable to confirm they live in the same household will have their access revoked.

The verification measures will focus on device location data and IP addresses to detect out-of-home usage. Hulu may also send texts, emails or in-app notifications asking suspected sharers to confirm their location.

Users engaged in prohibited multi-household access after March 14th risk having their accounts terminated.

Adding Extra Users

For legitimate multi-user households, Hulu will offer an affordable add-on plan. Users can add up to 2 extra profiles for $9.99 per month total.

The add-on allows simultaneous streams and personalized recommendations for additional household members sharing one subscription.

This approach mimics measures by Netflix and Disney+ to monetize legitimate multi-user households.

Customer Response

The looming crackdown has stirred controversy among streaming customers. Many argue that subscription fees already account for household sharing.

In a recent poll by CNET, 59% of current streamers felt providers should turn a blind eye to password sharing if subscription costs continue rising. Customers increasingly feel penalized for a practice that platforms ignored in the past.

In online forums, some customers have even threatened to turn to piracy if sharers in their household get locked out.

What’s Next

It remains unclear how strictly Hulu will enforce the new password sharing rules. With controversy brewing, the company may start slow before terminating accounts.

Complicating matters, Hulu allows sharing profiles across Disney+ and ESPN+. It’s uncertain if Hulu will revoke access to those services too when catching sharers.

Regardless, the days of unfettered password sharing likely nears its end. Hulu estimates over 30% of its subscribers engage in multi-household access. Convert even a fraction of those to paid users, and the company stands to generate more revenue without raising prices.

As the practice gets restricted across streaming, customers will face hard choices. To maintain access, many households may downgrade services or subscribe to fewer platforms. For streamers, the era of endless choice paired with lax password-sharing rules is likely ending.

Hulu Password Sharing Statistics

The following table summarizes key statistics on Hulu password sharing:

Statistic Value
% of Hulu subscribers engaged in password sharing 30%+
Average number of households per shared Hulu account 2-3
Additional revenue if 1/3 of sharers convert to paid accounts $500 million+ (estimated)
Cost of Hulu add-on for extra household member $9.99/month
Hulu subscription cost (with ads) $7.99/month
Date new password sharing policy takes effect March 14, 2024

Timeline of Recent Streaming Password Crackdowns

The following timeline summarizes key events in streaming platforms’ efforts to restrict password sharing:

Date Event
October 2022 Netflix adds Profile Transfer feature to discourage sharing outside households
November 2022 Disney announces it will restrict password sharing and add paid account sharing feature in 2023
December 2022 YouTube announces new 5-user package for families sharing premium accounts
January 2023 Netflix announces it will start restricting password sharing for non-household devices
January 31, 2023 Hulu announces upcoming password sharing crackdown
March 14, 2023 Hulu password sharing restrictions take effect
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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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