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Why Disney Plus Wants To Know Your Birthdate (And Gender)

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Anyone signing up to Disney Plus may have noticed that the streaming service asks for a date of birth as part of the signing up process. In fact, many existing subscribers may also have been contacted recently asking for them to update their personal information with a birthdate and gender. Although many other streaming services don’t ask for birthdates, some do. More to the point, there is a reason why Disney Plus is now asking for yours.

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Creating an account on Disney Plus is easy enough and not massively dissimilar to many of the other streaming services. New users simply head over to the Disney+ website, choose a plan, and then input some personal details. These include an email address, full name, a method of payment (credit card or PayPal), ZIP code, and a date of birth.

The main reason Disney Plus asks for a birthdate is that it is simply now part of the company’s Disney+ Subscriber Agreement. As explained in this help post, users must be at least “18 years of age, or the age of majority in your state or territory of residence“, to be able to sign up for a paid subscription. Therefore, Disney Plus asks for a date of birth to confirm that the new user is of age. As birthdates might also be used to “comply with age-related legal obligations”, according to Disney, it makes sense that Disney Plus would make this a requirement. For reference, age is not only now required for all Disney Plus accounts, but all profiles as well.

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While this does explain why Disney Plus is collecting your birthdate, some may wonder why it is part of the subscriber agreement to begin with. Although that’s down to Disney Plus to decide on, the service does provide some additional information on some of the ways a birthdate can be used, which can further help to explain the change.

One of those potential ways is to “personalize your content and experiences” and this may also include “product features and recommendations.” As an extension of this, Disney Plus also explains that a subscriber’s age can also be used to “deliver targeted advertising” to them. This last point is of particular importance and can also explain why even existing subscribers may have suddenly started receiving a request for their birthdate.

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Why existing subscribers are now being asked for a birthdate

Over the past few weeks, Disney Plus has been sending out emails to existing subscribers requesting that they provide a birthdate (and gender) “to keep streaming.” An example of the email being received can be seen in this Reddit post, and as the email shows, December 8th is listed as the date which Disney Plus expects to receive the updated information by. For those that haven’t seen an email, they may have noticed a prompt asking for the profile to be updated when accessing the service.

In terms of the birth date, Disney Plus increased the price of its standard subscription to $10.99 per month on December 8th, 2022 – the same date the emails request the profiles to be updated by. December 8th was also the date when the streaming service launched a new Disney Plus Basic plan. The new Basic subscription costs $7.99 per month and includes ads, marking the first time that Disney Plus has offered an ad-supported subscription. With ads now part of the deal, it should be expected that targeted advertising is a possibility as well. One way targeting advertising takes place is through information like age and gender. Even though many subscribers will be sticking with the ad-free plan, subscriber agreements tend to be more general and applied to all subscribers.

In terms of gender, this is something that’s less of a requirement than age. For example, the gender requirement only applies to accounts/profiles over the age of 18. In addition, although Disney Plus says gender is required, users do have the option of selecting “Prefer not to say” if they don’t want to disclose the information. Unlike age, gender can also be changed by the account/profile holder at any time through the Disney Plus settings menu.

How to change gender on a Disney Plus profile:

  1. Visit Disney+ website
  2. Log in, if required
  3. Click on the profile icon (top right corner)
  4. Click on Edit Profiles
  5. Select the profile to be edited
  6. Click on Gender (under Personal Information)
  7. Select one of the options from the drop-down menu
  8. Click Save

Disney Plus birthdate summary

Disney Plus has been making a number of changes recently with the most obvious one being the introduction of a new ad-supported tier. With the addition of Disney Plus Basic, and its inclusion of ads, Disney Plus has also made some changes to the information it requires from subscribers. Age and gender are two of those updated requirements, and can be used for targeting advertising.

Outside of advertising, Disney Plus does explain that both age and gender can also be used to offer a more personalized experience in general. This could be in the form of the recommendations they see when using the service or the products they are notified about.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or say hi on Twitter

3 replies on “Why Disney Plus Wants To Know Your Birthdate (And Gender)”

I also have done this without any problem, although, for my own profile, as I am the account owner, I found it best to give them my actual birthday in case they need verification if I lock myself out of the account. For anyone on the fence about giving a generic birthday for their family members, in the event this could potentially lock the user out of that profile in the future, you can always delete the family member’s profile and create a new one. You can’t delete the account owner’s profile, so once the account owner enters their birthday, it can’t be changed.

I never received any such email that Disney+ would do this — I guess because I was compliant with my profile. I only found out about this when one of my family members started to use my profile to watch something since they couldn’t get into their own, and it ended up in my continued watching list, which was really problematic to get rid of. And I know, I know, I can lock my profile, but that would just be rude as you’re supposed to be able to trust your family members not to use your profile (we’re all adults in my family). I guess me and my family members have to work on our communication skills, sigh.

I looked through all my other accounts and found that Disney Plus is the only one that has made it mandatory that other profiles enter their date of birth. I guess this would have annoyed me enough to toy with that cancelation button if I was paying full price, but since I’m grandfathered into an excellent bundle with Hulu, canceling isn’t an option for me.

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