New software cracking down on Netflix accounting sharing

HBO Now and Apple TV

A NEW service will allow streaming services such as Netflix to detect if you are sharing your account password with multiple users.

The system could let the company operating it specify how many users should be able to use a single account, which comes in handy for various family plans.

Netflix is one of the world's most popular video streaming services and offers an array of TV shows, films and more for customers.

Synamedia presented the technology at the CES 2019 conference in Las Vegas. If found, in some cases, it would ask the user to upgrade to a premium account that includes sharing. According to The Daily Mail, Synamedia's AI-powered system is created to track down and analyze which users are logged in at different locations, quickly being able to flag accounts that are being shared.

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".

If an account is signed in and watching shows in both Edinburgh and London, then Synamedia flags the user.

As noted by the Independent, it has been estimated that credential sharing could cost subscription-based streaming services $1.2 billion in lost revenue, while the cost to pay-TV services could be as high as $9.9 billion. Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service.

"For example, the solution 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".

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

It looks for a pattern that might help detect a shared password and it also gives the service provider a probability score (a probable number about how certain the system is of the password being shared).

This story originally appeared in The Sun.

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