In what should be absolutely no surprise to anyone given (a) the state of the streaming industry and (b) that its parent company has already implemented changes with its other services, Hulu today is sending emails to subscribers that notes a change in its subscriber agreement that notes a crackdown on password sharing.
The short version is this: “We’re adding limitations on sharing your account outside of your household, and explaining how we may assess your compliance with these limitations.” In other words, if they don’t live with you, they shouldn’t be using your login. The changes went into effect for new subscribers as of January 25, 2024, apparently, and will take effect March 14, 2024, for existing subscribers — or as soon as you acknowledge the new terms from within the Hulu app.
The fuller version states that Hulu “may, in our sole discretion, analyze the use of your account to determine compliance with this Agreement.” And if it determines that you’re still sharing your login, it can suspend or terminate your account. It then notes that “You will be responsible for any use of your account by your household, including compliance with this section.”
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Hulu — which is now solely owned by Disney — is just the latest streaming service to put a stop to the unofficial (but long tolerated) method by which you’d let someone else “borrow” your login so they didn’t have to pay for their own account. Disney+ put a stop to password sharing in the fall of 2023. And Netflix — which at one point actually approved of the practice despite that being a really bad idea, business-wise — cracked down even further back.
There are some times that sharing accounts actually makes sense. Should a kid just sent to college have to pay full freight? (Never mind that most services have student rates.) Or what about an older relative who doesn’t do all this newfangled online stuff and just wants to watch their shows? Netflix at least given the option of paying for an “extra member,” though those add-on accounts are more limited in features.
In any event, if you’re currently sharing someone else’s Hulu account, it’s time to get right. Or look for alternatives.