Can you share a Disney+ subscription with your family? What you need to know

Disney+, Walt Disney Studios’ first-ever streaming platform, first hit devices the world over in the fall of 2019. Since its arrival, Disney+ has helped viewers rediscover the magic of their childhoods, while releasing new content and engaging younger generations with fun new shows and movies to share as a family. With more socially distant days being spent at home, streaming platforms have become go-to forms of entertainment for households across the country.

With the increased amount of people staying at home these days and using forms of home entertainment like Disney+, some may be wondering if they can share that subscription with other members of their family or friends, who may or may not reside in their household. If you’ve been asked by others to give up the details on your login info for your Disney+ subscription, you may be wondering if sharing that info will get you locked out, or worse, banned from the platform. So, can you share Disney+?

Disney+ being watched on TV with remote
Ivan Marc/Shutterstock

What is password sharing?

While not a new concept — in fact, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime also struggle with password and account sharing — you may be wondering if Disney plans to restrict users from sharing profile and login information with other households of friends and family members.

For those who may not be aware of what it means, password sharing is simply giving other people — such as your best friend or your brother — your username and password to log into your paid subscription to any streaming-service provider. Because accounts are being shared, less money makes it into the pockets of the streaming companies. It seems most people do this in order to cut down on the cost of having multiple streaming services.

But can you do that?

Other streaming companies have placed restrictions on its customers in order to combat the “abuse of account sharing.” They have gone as far as limiting:

  • The number of devices that can play content at one time under one account
  • The number of profiles under each account
  • The number of device locations per account

By doing this, those streaming companies can crack down on their loss of revenue due to password sharing. If you aren’t sure about the company you currently use, chances are that if it’s been around for very long, it likely has some kind of restriction in place. A quick Google search can help locate those companies’ policies, should you be curious if your favorite streaming service is limiting your privileges.

Boy watching Disney+ on TV
Ivan Marc/Shutterstock

What’s the benefit?

Like we mentioned previously, the main driving force behind streaming-service password sharing is to save money. For example, let’s say a family of five with young children in the home uses Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ accounts. That family spends approximately $55 per month on those services. This was calculated using their mid-tier service options.

In a year’s time, the total spent is over $650 — not including any other monthly TV services. To some, that can be a significant amount of money to spend on TV entertainment, which makes it a little easier to understand why certain people agree to share their login information. Some families split the cost evenly, while others draw straws on which household pays for which streaming service.

Other reasons for password sharing are being able to watch shows and movies together as a group or monitoring your children’s watching activity.

Dad and daughter watching a streaming show
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What does Disney have to say about all this?

Disney is no fool when it comes to knowing its customer base. The company is fully aware of its following of devoted fans’ and shoppers’ wants and desires, which makes its entrance into the world of streaming services all the greater of an impact. Pulling all its content in one central bank-style platform was truly a brilliant move. The company did its research when putting the Disney+ project together and built a system with restriction capabilities. However, at this time, it has chosen not to implement them.

Those restrictions do exist, in the back-end area of the platform’s coding system, should customers decide to sign up and create profiles for every member of their family and friends, yet only pay $6.99+ for their subscription. According to The Verge, while being interviewed during a media-preview event in the weeks following Disney+’s release, the president of Disney Streaming Services, Michael Paull, commented on this subject by saying, “Password sharing is definitely something we think about.”

He added, “They’re going to use those accounts for their family, for their household. That being said, we do recognize password sharing exists and will continue to exist.”

What does this all mean?

If you’re concerned that Disney is going to take away your chance to fly away to Neverland or look for the bare necessities of life, fear not! It appears that the powers that be at Disney headquarters are aware of the issues surrounding streaming-service password sharing and are remaining hopeful that they won’t have to implement any restrictive measure to its customers who choose to save a few pennies.

That is, for now. Disney has stated that while the hope of honesty and fair usage remains high, that doesn’t mean it can’t change its mind at any time. So, if you are in a password-sharing situation right now, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that if your arrangement stays small and the same each month, Disney has no intentions of restricting Disney+ subscription sharing of its members at this time.

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