Netflix Testing Software to Track Who Is Sharing Passwords

Netflix company logo at Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos California

Netflix company logo at Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos California

Chances are you share a Netflix account with someone. That may be the case for accounts with credentials that have been sold off to many users online. The technology "combats the rapid rise in account sharing between friends and families, turning it instead into a new revenue-generating opportunity for operators" the company says.

It will spot if two different households that are clearly unrelated based on their geographical locations and preferences are sharing a single password.

Software maker Synamedia said that the artificial intelligence system looks for potentially fraudulent activity.

Streaming services such as Netflix are able to pay for access to Synamedia's initiative that will grant them the data in question. Any account, when it goes over a certain share score or concurrent user limit will be reported and then the OTT service provider can take matters into their own hand.

Synamedia is showing off the "Credentials Sharing Insight" tool at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Parks Associates predicts that almost $10 billion of pay-TV revenues and $1.2 billion of revenue from subscription-based streaming services will soon be lost to credential sharing each year.

The system is being tested and in the future it will be offered to services like Netflix and HBO.

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Discussing Synamedia's methods, Jean-Marc Racine, the CTO of the firm, told The Verge: "A typical pattern would be you have a subscriber that is simultaneously watching content on the East Coast and West Coast of the US".

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

Apparently there are "a number of firms" now testing the algorithm, but Synamedia is not naming names.

The service, called Credentials Sharing Insights, uses AI, behavioral analytics and machine learning, which identifies, monitors and analyzes credentials sharing activity across streaming accounts.

The company said it is now conducting trials with several pay-TV operators albeit it did not provide further details on which ones.

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