New software could crack down on Netflix users sharing passwords

The days of sharing Netflix passwords could be coming to an end

The days of sharing Netflix passwords could be coming to an end

We are often guilty of sharing the password for Netflix, Hulu or HBO Go with our family members, friends, and romantic liaisons.

Netflix might finally be closing in on its users who share passwords. 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".

In fact, the company reported that almost 26 percent of millennials share their Netflix credentials, which it says could add to billions of dollars in losses for streaming services if left unchecked.

Each service can choose to deal with rule-breakers as they please, for instance by sending them an email asking them to upgrade to a premium service or even shutting down their account.

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Synamedia's machine learning program, called Credentials Sharing Insight, looks at where an account is being used, when it is being used, what content is being streamed, and what devices are being used to stream that content.

Synamedia says that until now, content providers have turned a blind eye to casual password sharing as it helps market their service to new audiences. For example, it will notice if two different households are clearly unrelated, such as different tastes and geographical location, yet are still sharing a password.

"Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore", a Synamedia spokesman said.

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.

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The company claimed the system could save the streaming industry billions of dollars over the next years. Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service.

'It's a great way to keep honest people honest while benefiting from an incremental revenue stream'.

"Further to your article about Netflix account sharing, Netflix is not working with/partnering with Synamedia".

Available as a cloud or on-premise offering, Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight is already in trials with a number of pay-TV operators.

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