New software can be used to track shared Netflix accounts

11 January, 2019, 23:14 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • HBO Now and Apple TV

The UK-based company Synamedia says it created an algorithm that looks for patterns among users that indicate a shared password.

That's because a company exhibiting at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is showing off an artificial intelligence program that can determine when people share their streaming details with others. If found, in some cases, it would ask the user to upgrade to a premium account that includes sharing.

It was revealed by Synamedia at the event that nearly 26 percent of millennials share their Netflix account with others.

You subscribe to Netflix and share your password with family and friends so they can enjoy the media streaming service free of charge.

"Using AI, behavioral analytics and machine learning, Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight identifies, monitors and analyzes credentials sharing activity across streaming accounts", the company's website says.

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


'Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action.

If the software finds that passwords are being sold through for-profit operations, the accounts could be shut down.

It predicts that by 2021, credentials sharing will account for £7.8billion of losses in pay-TV revenues. Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service.

Streaming services such as Netflix are able to pay for access to Synamedia's initiative that will grant them the data in question. "It's a great way to keep honest people honest while benefiting from an incremental revenue stream", said Racine.

The system can work out if the service is being used in a "wrong" location - and knows when people are using it in their homes or holiday homes, for example.

Trials of the machine learning system have already begun, Synamedia revealed.

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