Since the dawn of streaming services like Netflix, people have been sharing their passwords with friends. Being realistic, few users need the ability to stream on five different screens of their own, and so those extra logins are often dispensed to loved ones.
But Netflix is about to make that notion more difficult for their subscribers. At the 2019 installment of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), video software provider Synamedia unveiled their new AI-powered system, which has been specifically created to help streaming services prevent password sharing among their subscribers, according to Unilad.
The software will “analyze which users are logged into certain streaming service accounts and whereabouts those users are watching from in order to flag shared accounts among consumers.”
According to Synamedia’s description of their new tech, it makes use of “behavioral analytics” and “machine learning” to keep track of people’s login data — including the locations from which people are logging in regularly. The time of day that the streaming session takes place will also be logged and analyzed.
This technology will also allow Netflix to actually regulate how many individuals will be able to use a single account, and, apparently, “combat the rapid rise in account sharing between friends and families, turning it instead into a new revenue-generating opportunity for operators.”
— Evening Standard (@standardnews) January 10, 2019
It is quite likely that, when instituted, these changes will see a drastic change in the way that users deal with the streaming giant.
When the streaming service first came into being, CEO Reed Hastings didn’t mind the account sharing, stating that he was sure it would lead to more subscriptions as people decided that they liked the service. Synamedia has a very different concern, however, saying that “a more harmful form of for-profit password-sharing by large-scale fraudsters also exists,” something which the tech giant has likened to piracy.
And Hastings might well change his tune when he reads research that has estimated approximately $9.9 billion in losses — by the year 2021 — as a result of password-sharing.
“Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore. Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action,” said Jean Marc Racine, CPO of Synamedia, adding, “Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service with a greater number of concurrent users. It’s a great way to keep honest people honest while benefiting from an incremental revenue stream.”
Get ready to pay for your own Netflix account if you want to keep up with their shows!