Netflix is going to stop you from sharing passwords with friends or family members. This will mean people who share their accounts will have to do the unthinkable and pay their own subscription fee. Last week, chief product officer Greg Peters delivered the bad news during a call to discuss the firm’s earnings during the third quarter of 2019. He said Netflix wants to clamp down on password sharing without ‘alienating a certain portion of [its] user base’. ‘We continue to monitor it so we’re looking at the situation,’ he continued, ‘We’ll see those consumer-friendly ways to push on the edges of that.’
Artificial Intelligence will stop you sharing Netflix
Earlier this year, the UK-based company Synamedia announced the creation of an algorithm that looks for patterns among users that indicate a shared password.
For example, it checks what content you’re watching in what location. So if the same login ID is watching content in London and Birmingham simultaneously, it’s not going to be the same person. ‘Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore,’ said Jean-Marc Racine, the CPO of Synamedia. ‘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.’ The program will flag what it thinks is an infringement to the service provider (Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu in the US) who can then decide what action to take. That might be an outright ban on the account or just a sternly-worded email telling them to pay for a premium account. The artificial intelligence program does more than just play whack-a-mole with logins. It can actually build up patterns of behavior. The company says that university campuses, for example, are a hotbed of credential sharing. Synamedia says its system is being trialed now by a number of content providers, although it won’t say exactly who they are.