At a technology event in Las Vegas, a software firm Synamedia unveiled their Orwellian AI system which has been created to track down any account that has been sharing login information with another.
The software works by analyzing geolocation data to determine which accounts are logged in at any one time and from where. By doing so they can see who is sharing their credentials and where. It can even decipher your location type like your home, work or if you are accessing from a hotel or vacation location.
Netflix has said to be losing money with credentials being shared with multiple users who are just using other’s accounts and the amount lost is getting hard to ignore. According to a recent research study from Hill and Magid, 35 percent of millennials share passwords for streaming services. That’s compared with 19 percent of Generation X subscribers and 13 percent of Baby Boomers. Take those password-sharing rates, the tens of millions of paying subscribers for various services and the monthly subscription cost of a service like Netflix, and that can add up to hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue that streaming companies aren’t booking.
According to Synamedia, the AI can also detect when streaming services are used by businesses making money on streaming certain programs. For instance, bars that have viewing parties for certain shows or even some bars that will constantly stream shows like “Friends.” It’s up for discussion if these places should be charged an extra fee since it is multiple watchers and can be used to profit from drink sales or even covers for watch parties.
The service can also tell if people are sharing with friends or if they are sharing with their children, like college student using their parents accounts for example. A demographic Magid calls post-millennials, users roughly 21 and younger, report sharing passwords at a rate of 42 percent.
For those who want to continue to share and pay for the service for family members, like college students, or even close friends, you can opt-in to pay for a premium additional fee that will allow you to share service with multiple users at different locations.
According to Magid, if 4 million US households stopped borrowing passwords and signed up for their the $7.99, Netflix could stand to make as much as $390 million more a year. However, that may be an overestimate considering that Netflix may not be able to convince all it’s users to become subscribers if they aren’t able to borrow passwords and rethink how much Netflix is really worth the monthly fee and possibly choose other streaming services like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, since many people have the Prime service anyways.