Monday, March 11, 2024

More password crackdowns: Max

Password sharing crackdowns continue across the streaming landscape. The latest to crackdown on password sharing is the Max app, formerly HBO Max.

Reports in the last week talk about this new attack on password sharing.

Of course, you're going to know what I say, if you've seen my earlier posts on other companies who have done this: "Eh."

If the rules are you can't share passwords, then you can't share passwords. Most of the complaints are from people who are freeloading on family members, either with or without permission. But their complaints haven't stopped companies from cracking down:

Netflix kicked off the movement, veering away from a feature of streaming that it had once championed, back in early 2023 with the first major password-sharing crackdown. People were outraged, assumed it was a massive error on Netflix's part and expected subscription numbers to collapse.

And then ... they didn't. In fact, it worked brilliantly for Netflix. Netflix reported "more new subscriptions in the U.S. ... than in any other four-day period" during the end of May and 6 million new subscribers in Q2 2023. That number grew in Q3, with another 8.8 million subscribers joining the streaming service and Netflix declaring itself "completely satisfied" with the password-sharing crackdown.

So it's no surprise that the other streaming services — all of which are still struggling to turn a profit — are following Netflix's example. Hulu announced its password-sharing crackdown on Feb. 1 and Disney Plus confirmed its password-sharing crackdown a mere six days later. Both password-sharing crackdowns will begin rolling out on March 14.

Again, it's okay with me if they stop people from violating their terms of service. Personally, if a company has a service I want, I'll pay for it.

My Streaming Life doesn't involve any paid service I'm not paying for.

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