Sharing Netflix account details has become a fairly common sight since the service comes with an exorbitant price tag in India. Indian economy isn't mature enough on a scale to pay at least Rs 500 per month for a streaming service. Thanks to sharing of passwords, multiple users can use the same account to stream their favourite shows.
The maximum users allowed to be logged in at once is currently capped at four, and technically, it's four screens, and not separate "users". To counter the misuse of a single account by multiple users, this company is using Artifical Intelligence.
UK-based Synamedia unveiled the artificial intelligence software at the CES 2019 technology trade show in Las Vegas, claiming it could save the streaming industry billions of dollars over the next few years.
The streaming service companies would hire Synamedia, which in turn uses AI, behavioural analytics and machine learning to monitor and analyse password sharing activity across user accounts. The AI would then identify the rule breakers. In other words, if you pay for your premium service, you'll probably be fine. If not, you could be the star of the next Netflix true crime docu-series.
"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. If the latter, then subscribers are offered a premium shared account service that includes a pre-authorized level of password sharing and a higher number of concurrent users," Synamedia explained.
The firm notes recent research which found 26 percent of millennials give out their credentials for video streaming services to other people. An estimated US$ 1.2 billion of revenue is lost annually by subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix.
© Time Magazine
"Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore," said Jean-Marc Racine, CPO of Synamedia.
Synamedia confirmed it is now conducting trials with a number of pay-TV operators but refused to reveal whether Netflix is among them. However, the 'casual sharing' practise is so common Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once described it as a 'positive thing' because he believes people who did it were likely to become paying subscribers later down the line.