This is How WarnerMedia’s CEO Plans To Deal with Password Stealing and Sharing on HBO Max

When it comes to sharing your streaming account, streamers can sometimes have rather large families. Users like to share the passwords of those subscriptions, which translates to lost revenue for companies, but policing the issue is tricky.

WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey was asked about the password-sharing quandary during yesterday’s HBO Max presentation. The service launches in May with 10,000 hours of content, including the entire HBO service and new HBO Max originals targeted at young adults, kids and families.

“I think the industry has an issue — what’s the right balance of people being exposed to the product and giving them the value where they want to come in and actually use it?” Stankey said.

While he acknowledged that “things in the industry are a little bit loose … as distributors are more in tune with what’s going on, they will find a way to balance that out.”

He said streaming distributors aren’t expected to be litigious, like the music-industry. “Technology is getting better at paying attention to extensive abuse — when we see 14 locations logged into one HBO account on a Sunday night with 16 different streams going … we have ways of tightening that up to prevent rampant, pervasive sharing.

“As growth taps out, the industry will come up with a method that’s a bit more rigorous,” Stankey said.

Otter Media CEO Tony Goncalves added: “You’re starting to see tiers of the service that limit concurrent usage, grow concurrent usage and adapt pricing to that. You’re going to see device registration as mechanisms to start tailoring offers.”

Goncalves explained it’s “a balancing act, and you don’t want it to be punitive, because you do want consumers engaging with the content.”

(Otter Media is a division of AT&T’s WarnerMedia. It owns Crunchyroll, VRV, Fullscreen, and Rooster Teeth.)

Also at yesterday’s WarnerMedia presentation, several HBO Max exclusives were announced, including all 23 seasons of “South Park” airing in June. The “Joker” movie will also be available at launch.

AT&T will offer HBO Max for $14.99 a month — the same price as HBO NOW. The service will be available in May 2020 to 10 million HBO subscribers on AT&T distribution platforms at no additional charge. Those who get the service through their cable providers, will get HBO Max as they reach deals with distributors.

WarnerMedia is estimating 50 million domestic subscribers and 75 million to 90 million premium subscribers by the end of 2025 across the U.S., Latin America and Europe.