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Synamedia provides a way to identify casual password sharing and persuade consumers to upgrade

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Synamedia has launched its Credentials Sharing Insight solution to help streaming service providers combat the rapid rise in account sharing between friends and families and turn it into a new revenue-generating opportunity. The solution can also be used to detect and shut down large-scale, for-profit credentials sharing accounts run by fraudsters. Available as a cloud or on-premise offering, the new solution is in trials with a number of Pay TV operators and will be demonstrated at CES in January.

As Synamedia explains, most OTT providers have turned a blind eye to casual password sharing until now, 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,” it adds.

According to Jean Marc Racine, CPO and GM EMEA of Synamedia, casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore. “Our new solution gives operators the ability to act,” he says. “Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service with a greater number of concurrent users. It is a great way to keep honest people honest while benefiting from an incremental revenue stream.”

Synamedia Credentials Sharing Insight uses AI, behavioural analytics and machine learning to identify, monitor and analyse credentials sharing activity across streaming accounts. Real-time dashboards highlight unusual sharing activity including alerts and trend analysis.

By integrating the credentials sharing policy engine with its subscriber database, a service provider can apply specific policies – such as an action to upsell – to any account whose sharing score exceeds a pre-defined threshold. “Armed with these insights, marketing teams can tread the fine line between finding account sharers and harassing a customer,” Synamedia says.

As a use-case example, this product can determine whether users are viewing at their main home and a holiday home simultanously, or whether they have shared credentials with friends or grown-up children who live away from home. If the latter is true, subscribers are offered a premium shared account service that includes a pre-authorised level of password sharing and a higher number of concurrent users.

The analytics and machine learning take advantage of the collective, anonymised intelligence gained from multiple Synamedia customers. This means new customers benefit from a shallow learning curve and quick results. “The design incorporates expertise from Synamedia’s team of security experts, who understand how and where to look for suspicious activity and how to integrate this knowledge and understanding into the behavioural models,” the vendor, which was spun out of Cisco this year, states.

Customers can manage the monetisation process – where you try to persuade users involved in unauthorised sharing to upgrade – using Infinite, Synamedia’s cloud-based multi-screen platform. Credential Sharing Insights can also be used as a stand-alone product, integrated with a Pay TV platform.

When announcing the product, which was trailed at IBC in September with demonstrations, Synamedia quoted figures from media research firm Magid showing that 26% of millennials share passwords for video streaming services today. Parks Associates predicts that in 2021, $9.9 billion of Pay TV revenues and $1.2 billion of OTT revenues will be lost to credentials sharing.

Credentials Sharing Insight is part of the VideoGuard portfolio that is now part of Synamedia. VideoGuard secures broadcast and streaming content, services and revenues for leading Pay TV operators worldwide. VideoGuard products currently protect over 330 million active client devices and over $100 billion in customer revenues.

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