Streaming services set to crack down on password sharing

Tom Beasley
Streaming services are set to crack down on password sharing. (Credit: Getty)

Major streaming platforms are set to take action against “improper password sharing” as the number of services on offer increases.

Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment — an industry anti-piracy group made up of studios, streamers and ISPs — announced last week that it will make tackling the practice a priority.

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This marks a shift in the battle on piracy from the explicit theft represented by file sharing towards what The Hollywood Reporter refers to as “Piracy 2.0”.

Insiders stressed to the publication that there are currently no plans to minimise sharing among family and friends, but that ACE will work on “best practices” and technological measures to limit the number of people simultaneously using an account.

THR reports a survey carried out in July 2019 in which 14% of Netflix users admitted sharing their login info outside of their family, alongside 11% of Hulu users and six per cent of Amazon subscribers.

Attendees visit the Disney+ streaming service booth at the D23 Expo on August 23, 2019. (Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

This shift is driven by the broadening of choice in the streaming landscape, with the likes of Apple TV, HBO Max and Disney+ joining the established likes of Netflix and Amazon.

Previously, bosses at the big streamers had seen password sharing as a necessary evil, with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings describing it as “something you have to learn to live with” in 2016.

The loss of money, though, is pretty huge with a recent study suggesting that Netflix could be losing as much as $1.62bn (£1.26bn) every year as a result of the practice.

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Streaming companies will be looking to catch audience’s eyes as the number of potential subscription costs continues to rise.

The UK is launching its own horse into the race in the shape of Britbox, which debuted this week with an extensive back catalogue of TV shows from BBC, ITV and Channel 4.