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(Credit: Kasin Visrutavanij/iStock)

The fact that some Netflix users share passwords isn't exactly news. Users may share a Netflix account with family members and friends as a way to save money.

But nearly 75 percent of Americans share their account with others, according to a study conducted by Country Financial. But password sharing could quickly become more difficult in the near future, if Netflix follows through on its plan.

Synamedia, a video software provider, debuted a new AI program at CES 2019 this week designed to flag shared accounts on Netflix (download for iOS or Android).

SEE: Netflix unveils 2018's 10 most binge-watched TV shows

Synamedia cites the "rapid rise in credential sharing" as the reason for developing the Credentials Sharing Insight. The program uses AI, behavioral analytics and machine learning to monitor and analyze activity across streaming accounts. Any unusual activity is flagged.

"Until now most OTT providers have turned a blind eye to casual password sharing, seeing it as a way to market their service to new audiences," Synamedia said in a press release. "But the industry now recognizes that younger generations are used to accessing streaming services for free and rarely become paying customers."

Parks Associates, a Texas market research firm, predicts that by 2021, $9.9 billion of pay-TV revenues and $1.2 billion of OTT revenues will be lost to credentials sharing.

Users retaliated against Spotify (download for iOS or Android) when the music streaming service attempted to stop account sharing. Last September, Spotify threatened to pull Premium access for family plan users unless they confirmed their GPS coordinates.

Synamedia said its data can help companies find a balance between working to sign up account sharers and harassing customers.

And it's possible that Snyamedia's new program could do more harm than good for Netflix. Viewership numbers could drop if Netflix can't convert account sharers to subscribers

Instead, Netflix might consider redesigning their family plans and student accounts. Hulu (download for iOS or Android) offers student discounts and a wider variety of subscription prices. While the company frowns on account sharing as well, its 25 million users trail Netflix's 58 million US subscribers.

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Takeaways

  1. Synamedia, a video software provider, debuted a new AI program designed to stop account sharing on Netflix.
  2. Credentials Sharing Insight uses AI, behavioral analytics and machine learning to monitor and analyze activity across streaming accounts. Any unusual activity is flagged.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.