It has almost become customary among friends, families, and relatives to share login credentials for streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, and many more. Thanks to the multi-screen plans, or at least the absence of any limitations on them, people are now sharing passwords more than ever – a canny workaround to offset the overall cost of the subscription of streaming service. However, this seems to go away soon as a UK-based company just unveiled a new service that will let the streaming companies track the password sharing and take actions.
At CES 2019, Synamedia unveiled its new service called ‘Credential Sharing Insight’ that uses machine learning to spot the locations a particular streaming service account is simultaneously active at. It will then provide the location data to the service provider so that the subscription, which the first party bought, is not being misused (or overused). Not only the location, the time of using the service along with the content that is being watched will also be shared with the service provider so that a probability score can be populated, which is essentially an estimation of the certainty on finding a service violator.
Jean-Marc Racine, CTO of Synamedia, told The Verge on the sidelines of the launch that the machine learning can map a “typical” pattern when a company’s subscriber is watching simultaneously on two locations. “That’s unlikely to be the same person,” he added. He further said that the approach behind this service is that subscribers do not become “too punitive” about it. “They up-sell services instead.”
When the data is collated by the service, the service providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Hulu, and HBO can chalk out ways to curb it. They can choose to shut the accounts if they find an account is being overused at multiple locations. If that’s happening within the same location – for example, password sharing within the family – they could send an alert to the user asking them to upgrade to a premium plan or the one meant for multi-screen watching.