The year 2018 was really 'the year' when 22-odd streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar drove much of the content giving an upthrust to viewers count on the web. While a large chunk of subscribers was paying up for the OTT services, there are almost 26% millennials who continue to allow freeloading. Now, in a country like India where piracy is still rampant and youngsters don't generally pay for watching the latest season of popular shows and films like Stranger Things, Bird Box and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch among many others, there's a rather simple workaround to the issue- credentials sharing.
Normal streaming provider accounts when shared, bring down the individual subscriber fees and hence users have to pay substantially less to watch say a Netflix original. Then there are the freeloaders who get access to video streaming services through their friends and relatives which have premium accounts with more concurrent user allowance. While practices like these do instill a habit of paying up for the content consumed, we are still a long way behind when it comes to subscribing to certain OTT service provider. As an estimate, there's expected to be a loss of 1.2 billion dollars by 2021 due to credentials sharing.
Enter Synamedia. The UK based company develops video delivery solutions for clients like AT&T, Disney which are amongst the 200+ DTH, cable, telecom and OTT service providers that it caters to. Synamedia has launched a new system called Credentials Sharing Insight which is backed by AI and machine learning. As evident, the system can detect accounts whose credentials are shared with non-paying subscribers.
The Credentials Sharing Insight system monitors account usage, the location from where it is being accessed and awards a sharing score to accounts. Any account, when it goes over a certain share score or concurrent user limit will be reported and then the OTT service provider can take matters into their own hand. This includes warning the primary user about the unauthorized usage of their account and giving them an option to switch to a premium account. The OTT service provider can also block a users account but we believe that will not happen until its an extreme case of sharing and piracy.
Synamedia says that their credentials sharing solution is being used under trail by various different OTT service providers and we can expect them to deploy this system on their services very soon. Say bye bye to using your friends Netflix account!