Disney and Charter Communications are teaming up to fight account sharing in an attempt to prevent multiple people from using a single account to access streaming video services.
If you buy a Disney service through Charter, be aware that the companies will work together to prevent you from sharing a login with friends. Disney and Charter said in their announcement yesterday that they have “agreed to work together on piracy mitigation. The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.”
In addition to streaming services, the deal will let Charter continue carrying Disney-owned TV channels on its cable service. That includes ABC, the various Disney and ESPN channels, FX, National Geographic, and more.
The announcement didn’t say exactly how the companies will fight account sharing. We asked Charter for technical details on how it’ll work and about whether this will result in more personal customer data being shared between Charter and Disney. Charter did not answer any of our questions, saying, “we don’t have details to share at this time.”
Netflix and HBO take a less strict approach
In contrast to Charter and Disney, Netflix and HBO haven’t cared as much about account sharing.
Now-former HBO CEO Richard Plepler once said that password sharing is a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers” and that “we’re in the business of creating addicts.” (Plepler left HBO in February, less than a year after AT&T bought HBO owner Time Warner.)
Netflix, HBO, and the Disney-owned Hulu all limit the number of concurrent streams on each account, however. That doesn’t prevent account sharing entirely, but such a policy can make it inconvenient to share an account with a bunch of friends.