New AI software launched at CES 2019 can track down users who share accounts on Netflix
A UK software company has developed an AI programme to clamp down on people who share their Netflix password with family and friends.
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, video software provider Synamedia unveiled the new AI-powered system designed to stop the rise of account sharing of streaming services.
Roughly 26 percent of millennials give out their credentials to other people, according to recent research from Magid.
The program uses AI, machine learning and behavioural analytics to identify where an account has been accessed from, what time it is used, what content is being watched and by what device.
It then identifies patterns that indicate a shared password, passing this information onto the provider through a probability score that the software has found an infringer.
“A typical pattern would be you have a subscriber that is simultaneously watching content on the East Coast and West Coast of the US,” Synamedia’s CTO, Jean-Marc Racine, told The Verge
“That’s unlikely to be the same person.”
But it is not just ex-partners and overseas family members the software will be tracking.
Research by Parks Associates found that by 2021, credentials share will account for $9.9 billion (£7.76 billion) of losses in pay-TV revenues and $1.2 billion of over-the-top revenues.
The firm says the system can also be used to track down large-scale for-profit operations to slash the losses.
It is then up to the service providers to decide what they do.
If the sharing pattern is extreme, for example the credentials have been sold online to multiple users, they can shut down accounts.
If the program indicates a password is being shared between family members, the provider could just send an email suggesting they upgrade to a premium account.
According to Synamedia, the program can figure out exactly where and how the account is being used, for example if the user is using a streaming service in their regular home, or at their holiday home.
It can also determine if users are sharing their credentials with friends or adult children who no longer live at home.
Synamedia says the system has already begun trials.