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2-min read

Sharing Your Netflix Passwords With Friends? AI Can Now Track Illegal Sharing of Accounts

The new solution from Synamedia uses AI to detect and understand differing usage patterns.

Vishal Mathur | @vishalmathur85

Updated:January 10, 2019, 7:17 PM IST
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Is your Netflix subscription, for instance, driving the ‘Netflix and chill’ routines for your friends too? This might be saving everyone some money and building unbreakable friendships too in the process. Nevertheless, all this camaraderie might soon reach its expiry date. It will soon become incredibly risky to share login credentials for web services with friends. A UK company Synamedia has unveiled a new artificially intelligent (AI) solution that will help service providers (for instance streaming platforms) track down illegal sharing of login credentials for active accounts. The company is currently demoing the solution at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 in Las Vegas.

Credentials Sharing Insight, as the new solution is called, analyses data of all users once a streaming service or a service provider gives access to the subscriber data. The solution can detect and identify casual password sharing between friends and family, as well as organized selling of web credentials by various individuals and organizations online.

The solution developed by Synamedia looks at a range of factors before taking a call on whether illegal password sharing is happening or not. The factors include where an account is being accessed from and changes in location, what time it’s used and for what duration, simultaneous logins, the content and genre being watched and the device(s) being used to access the service. It then gives the service provider or platform a probability score, which attempts to raise flags about potential illegal sharing and infringement of the terms of service one agrees to when signing up.

No wonder such solutions are being developed and implemented. Media research firm Magid suggests that 26% of millennials share passwords for video streaming services. Consulting firm Parks Associates predicts that by the year 2021, as much as $9.9 billion worth of pay-tv revenues and $1.2 billion of OTT revenues will be lost to credentials sharing. The services that would be hit with revenue loss include Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO Now for instance, as well as potentially the upcoming video streaming services from Apple and Walt Disney. “Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore. Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action. 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,” says Jean Marc Racine, CPO and GM EMEA of Synamedia, in an official statement.

The Credentials Sharing Insight solution will allow services to insert the option to upsell to customers found illegally sharing their credentials—such as subscribe to a higher value subscription pack, for instance.

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