Hulu has just laid the groundwork to kick friends, family, and freeloaders off its streaming service unless they pay for their own accounts. This week, the company revised its Terms of Service to explicitly ban password sharing outside of “your primary personal residence,” and it’s begun to tell subscribers they’ll need to comply by March 14th, 2024.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise: the writing’s been on the wall ever since Netflix reported that its password sharing crackdown was successful in driving more signups, after Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed he’d like to follow suit, and certainly after Disney Plus began its own password sharing crackdown in earnest. (Disney should soon own all of Hulu and the two apps are even beginning to merge.)
Here’s the new ToS section in full:
m. Account Sharing. Unless otherwise permitted by your Service Tier, you may not share your subscription outside of your household. “Household” means the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the individuals who reside therein. Additional usage rules may apply for certain Service Tiers. For more details on our account sharing policy, please visit our Help Center.
We may, in our sole discretion, analyze the use of your account to determine compliance with this Agreement. If we determine, in our sole discretion, that you have violated this Agreement, we may limit or terminate access to the Service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this Agreement (including those set forth in Section 6 of this Agreement).
You will be responsible for any use of your account by your household, including compliance with this section.
The new ToS is dated January 25th, 2024; previous versions of the ToS didn’t mention account sharing at all.
Here’s an example of the emails being sent to Hulu subscribers:
“We’re adding limitations on sharing your account outside of your household, and explaining how we may assess your compliance with these limitations,” the most important paragraph reads.
Neither the email nor the ToS say how Hulu will measure compliance or how quickly it’ll take action, but Hulu will apparently “analyze the use of your account” and it reserves the right to “limit or terminate access” if it decides you’ve broken the policy.
The ToS also suggests there’s more info about its account sharing policy at the Hulu Help Center, but we’re not seeing any help articles about account sharing right now.