A new AI could stop users from sharing their Netflix passwords with others

Synamedia, a UK company, is offering a new artificially intelligent (AI) service that will help, especially pay-TV operators and video streaming platforms, to track shared passwords. The company is currently showcasing the solution at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 in Las Vegas.

Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO Now, for instance, are some of the popular video streaming services as of now.

The service, called Credentials Sharing Insights, uses AI, behavioral analytics and machine learning, which identifies, monitors and analyzes credentials sharing activity across streaming accounts. In other words, it will keep tabs on casual password sharing between friends and family as well as criminal enterprises or individuals who want to make money by reselling login credentials of payment channels or streaming services.

“The way you secure OTT is evolving,” said Jean Marc Racine, CPO and GM EMEA of Synamedia, explained in an interview to Variety. In the past, cable TV operators largely depended on secured devices, such as locked down devices and smart cards to decrypt satellite TV.

However, with the content transitioning to streaming, operators are finding ways to make things simpler for end consumers. “Passwords are easy to share,” he argued.

How does the service work?

Synamedia’s Credential Sharing Insights service analyzes streaming data from all its users. It will train the AI-based system on factors such as location from where an account is being accessed from, what time it’s used and for what duration, the content being watched, which device is being used, so on and so forth.

For example, the service can determine whether users are viewing at their main home and a holiday home, or whether they have shared credentials with friends or grown-up children who live away from home. In the case of the latter, these users will be offered a premium shared account service that includes a pre-authorized level of password sharing and a higher number of concurrent users.

The service provider or platform then gets a probability score, where the system would classify users between scores of 1 to 10, where “1” would indicate that this user is unlikely to share their password, and “10” would represent a user who has high chances of sharing that password.

“Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore,” said Racine. “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.”

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

Media research firm Magid suggests that 26% of millennials share passwords for video streaming services, while consulting firm, Parks Associates predicts $9.9 billion of pay-TV revenues and $1.2 billion of OTT revenues will be lost to credentials sharing by the year 2021.

AT&T, Comcast, Disney, Verizon, and Sky are some of the biggest names, who are currently using Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight service.