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Netflix Could Stop You Sharing Your Account With Your Mates

Esquire (UK) logo Esquire (UK) 11/01/2019 Tom Nicholson
Not that you'd do that, obviously © Getty Images Not that you'd do that, obviously

The golden age of sponging off your mate's/parents'/ex's brother's Netflix account might be coming to a close. The streaming industry is starting to take a dim view of the practise and according to The Verge, the British company Synamedia presented new software which aims to stop it altogether at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Synamedia says its Credentials Sharing Insight tool will "combat the rapid rise in account sharing between friends and families and turn it into a new revenue-generating opportunity," which sounds extremely evil.

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The company's press release notes that 26 percent of millennials share passwords for their streaming service accounts, and goes on: "Until now most [streaming media] providers have turned a blind eye to casual password sharing, seeing it as a way to market their service to new audiences. But the industry now recognises that younger generations are used to accessing streaming services for free and rarely become paying customers."

Attractive woman sitting at home on pleasant evening and watching a movie. Attractive woman sitting at home on pleasant evening and watching a movie.

The streaming service would subscribe to Synamedia's service, which uses AI to look at factors like when and where the account is being accessed, what's being watched and on what kind of device to assess whether there's some dodgy account-sharing going on. If it's decided there is, the service suggests the account holder upgrade their account or shuts it down if it's suspected that a password's been sold on.

'Morelia, Mexico - March 15, 2013: Netflix Application on iPhone' © luismmolina 'Morelia, Mexico - March 15, 2013: Netflix Application on iPhone'

Then again, if it's news to you that Netflix can tell when an account is being shared between people in different locations - other people, obviously, you'd never do that sort of thing - then you might not be quite ready to use the internet. You'll probably have received notifications when a new device logs onto your account which shows that device's location.

Group best friends sitting at home on pleasant evening and watching a comedy movie .Watching late night show. Group best friends sitting at home on pleasant evening and watching a comedy movie .Watching late night show.

The difference is that now, there's scope for streaming services to gradually strangle the practice rather than sticking to their laissez-faire attitude. Password sharing used to be seen as a way to organically grow a service; now, the industry is starting to think it would like its money, please.

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