The Days Of TV Password Sharing May Be Numbered

December 26, 2017

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It is estimated about a third of online TV viewing is done with someone else’s username and password.  However the days of sharing your Netflix password with your friend who shares their Amazon password with you may be soon over.  The cable provider, Spectrum, is leading an industrywide effort to crack down on password sharing. It’s a growing problem that could cost pay-tv companies millions of subscribers and billions of dollars in revenue as able and satellite carriers in North America have lost 3 million customers this year alone. While many content providers, like HBO, feel password sharing has little or no impact on their business, Spectrum reference one unidentified channel owner had 30,000 simultaneous streams from a single account. So Spectrum is working with content providers to standardize policies including restricting the number of concurrent streams on their apps and force legitimate subscribers to log in more often. But it is the public that may be the biggest obstacle as most credentials are being swapped among friends or relatives. For instance parents, for instance, will often let their children at college stream from their accounts. The TV industry, for the most part, is fine with that.  The practice becomes a problem when those students share credentials with their friends and so on.


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