New Technology May End The Era Of Using Someone Else's Netflix Password

Netflix password sharing could be a thing of the past

Netflix password sharing could be a thing of the past

A British software company Synamedia has developed a programme created to stop users of media streaming services, such as HBO and Netflix, from illegally sharing passwords to their accounts with others.

If adopted, it could be the latest in a change to the way streaming services clamp down on users gaming the system. The software would combat "the rapid rise in account sharing between friends and families, turning it instead into a new revenue-generating opportunity for operators".

Synamedia presented the technology at the CES 2019 conference in Las Vegas.

The company revealed that 26% of millennials share passwords for video streaming services, while economic predictions indicate that in 2021, $9.9 billion of pay-TV revenues and $1.2 billion of over-the-top media services (OTT) revenues will be lost to credentials sharing.

While Synamedia says it will help providers shut down large-scale, for-profit account sharing run by fraudsters, regular users will also be targeted for "upselling".

The AI system looks for potential fraudulent activities by using machine learning and behavioral analytics to better understand account activities.

Sex Toy Stripped of CES 2019 Award Because Vaginas
Gary Shapiro, CEO of CES organizer Consumer Technology Association, says every company is a technology company these days. With 4,500 exhibitors, the CES trade show is expected to attract more than 180,000 visitors.

The company further elaborates their feature by explaining that they analyze data from all streaming services that enroll to their platform.

Synamedia called password sharing between friends and family members "casual sharing", a common practice that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once described as a positive thing since people who do this are likely to become paying subscribers of the service.

If caught sharing, users could then be offered a premium service that allows for password sharing and more concurrent users.

"Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore", a Synamedia spokesman said. Two years ago Netflix announced a change to crack down on VPNs so that users in the United Kingdom could no longer tweak their DNS settings to access USA content and vice versa.

Racine says that Synamedia's machine learning approach, which notes always-evolving "consumption patterns", is more flexible than a hard-coded algorithm that has to be updated manually and often. "It's a great way to keep honest people honest while benefiting from an incremental revenue stream", said Racine.

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