Sharing Your Netflix Password With Friends Could Get A Lot More Difficult

by : Francesca Donovan on : 10 Jan 2019 09:40
netflix stranger thingsPA/Netflix

The Utopian Dream might be coming to an end, guys. 

No longer will you and three of your closest Communist comrades be able to piggyback on your rich friend’s Netflix account and share the wealth like Karl Marx would’ve wanted.


Capitalism has won. It’s official. New tech has found a way to detect the type of untoward account sharing which has kept us all in true crime dramas since a murderer was made.

We all knew AI was going to ruin everyone’s fun one day – the likes of Elon Musk and David Icke have been saying it for ages – but now it’s been confirmed.

At CES 2019 – the biggest tech show in the world – in Las Vegas, video software provider Synamedia unveiled a creepy new AI-powered system designed to crack down and ultimately help streaming services eliminate account sharing.


Ominously for us, Sky has already invested in the company:

The new software can analyse which users are logged into certain streaming service accounts and whereabouts those users are watching from in order to flag shared accounts among consumers.

Your worst nightmare is called Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight and it uses ‘behavioural analytics’ and ‘machine learning’ to keep tabs on credentials-sharing activity across streaming services.


The system allows the operator to specify how many users should be using a single account and ‘combat the rapid rise in account sharing between friends and families, turning it instead into a new revenue-generating opportunity for operators’.

Has a more terrifying phrase in the tech language ever been uttered, my friends? I think not.

The 1984-reminiscent AI can then monitor a subscriber database for any potential fraudulent activity and according to Synamedia, it can figure out exactly where and how the account is being used.


The firm notes recent research which found 26 percent of millennials give out their credentials for video streaming services to other people.

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.

Still, for Synamedia a more harmful form of for-profit password-sharing by large-scale fraudsters also exists and they equate it to piracy, reports Trusted Reviews.


Additional research from Parks Associates found that by 2021, credentials sharing will account for $9.9 billion of losses in pay-TV revenues. Synamedia say the system has already begun trials.

Jean Marc Racine, CPO of Synamedia, said:

Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore. 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.

This tech is designed to crack down on those who use a basic service and share their account logins with their pals. 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.

Netflix and individualism, I guess.

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Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: Film and TV


Trusted Reviews
  1. Trusted Reviews

    Sky just invested in a company that thinks password-sharing can be a form of “piracy”