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Disney To Introduce New Measures To Clamp Down On Password-Sharing

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Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that the company will begin to tighten the screws around the contentious issue of password-sharing this June.

In an interview with CNBC, Iger hinted that Disney Plus would start introducing further restrictions around password-sharing later this year, though not across all markets worldwide.

“In June we’ll be launching our first real foray into password sharing. Just a few countries in a few markets, but then it will grow significantly with a full rollout in September,” said Iger.

During an earnings call in February, Disney’s chief financial officer, Hugh Johnston, said that subscribers “suspected of improper sharing” will be prompted to sign up for their own subscription later this year. Also, subscribers will be permitted to add members outside their household for an “additional fee”.

Iger’s latest comments imply that from June onwards Disney will introduce that new “additional fee” to clamp down on password-sharing.

Netflix, the leader in streaming services, began to crack down on password sharing last year by introducing a fee to add an extra viewer outside a subscriber’s household.

Disney+ streaming

Iger admitted Netflix’s dominant market position. He said, “Netflix is the gold standard in streaming. They’ve done a phenomenal job and a lot of different directions. I actually have very high regard for what they’ve accomplished. If we can only accomplish what they’ve accomplished that would be great. But the good news here is that – we know what we have to do.

“We start with a very strong hand. [We have] Pixar and Marvel and Lucasfilm and Disney – the acquisition of 20th Century Fox looms large in this process because we get control of Hulu, we get significantly more content, including, Family Guy, The Simpsons and Avatar. We get great talent that came with it as well, and a global footprint that is broader and deeper in a number of markets. I think we have the goods and now we’ve got to execute.”

Earlier this week, Iger emerged victorious from a proxy battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz who wanted a seat on Disney’s board after claiming that the company was underperforming. Disney and its shareholders backed Iger to deny Peltz that seat and to re-elect the existing set of 12 board members at the company.

In his remarks to CNBC, Iger touched upon succession plans at Disney too, and noted, “Clearly, shareholders care very much about succession. It is the board’s number one priority. They’ve been spending a significant amount of time on that we have a succession committee, that Mark Parker, our chairman chairs and James Gorman, who just joined our board, is on. They met seven times last year. They intend to meet even more this year, [and] they are confident they will choose the right person at the right time. And they have some time to do that. But they’re treating it with a sense of urgency because it is so important. Shareholders care about that given what the company has been through these last few years.”

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