Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max has password-sharing crackdown in pipeline

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    Warner Bros. Discovery will reportedly take after two other streaming giants and implement its own password-sharing crackdown on its Max platform.

    Users of Max, which Warner Bros. Discovery launched last year with a combination of both HBO Max and Discovery+ content, will see the company start becoming more strict about password-sharing later in 2024, Bloomberg reported over the weekend. 

    That, according to the outlet, will precede broader implementation in the following year.

    The Max website on a smartphone arranged in New York, US, on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. Independent film company A24 will run its new movies exclusively on Warner Bros. Discovery Inc.’s Max and HBO cable networks. Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via G (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

    A spokesperson for Max confirmed to FOX Business a password-sharing crackdown is on the platform’s roadmap.

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    Netflix pioneered the strategy among major platforms and took steps to limit account-sharing during the summer of 2023. Competitor Disney, which runs Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, has since also detailed plans to curb the user practice. 

    DETAILS OF DISNEY+ PASSWORD-SHARING CRACKDOWN ARE SIMILAR TO NETFLIX

    Max’s terms of use, publicly available online, currently say subscribers “have the option to create up to five (5) authorized user profiles on your Max account (each, an ‘Authorized User’).” It describes “Authorized Users” as “limited to members of your household.”

    David Zaslav, CEO, Warner Bros. Discovery

    David Zaslav, CEO, Warner Bros. Discovery speaks onstage during the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront 2022 show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 18, 2022 in New York City. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery / Getty Images)

    Bloomberg linked the approaching password-sharing initiative to Warner Bros. Discovery trying to boost Max’s and its overall direct-to-consumer segment’s profitability. 

    For 2023, the company notched $10.15 billion in revenues and $103 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) across its direct-to-consumer unit comprising HBO, Max and Discovery+. Those figures marked a nearly 40% year-over-year increase and a swing into a positive, respectively.

    Streaming TV remote

    Video on demand, TV streaming, multimedia. Hand holding remote control (iStock / iStock)

    Roughly 97.7 million people around the world hold subscriptions to Warner Bros. Discovery direct-to-consumer services.

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    After Netflix started rolling out its account-sharing restrictions, it saw gains in paying subscribers and revenues. Its introduction of an ad-supported plan has also been beneficial to the streaming giant.



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