Netflix, HBO, and cable-industry giants are considering an array of tactics to crack down on password sharing and stop people from borrowing credentials from friends to access programming without paying for it, Bloomberg is reporting.
The companies believe that password sharing is costing them billions of dollars in lost revenue every year. According to people familiar with the matter, some of the possible measures being discussed include requiring subscribers to change their passwords periodically or texting them codes that they would need to enter to continue watching.
Moreover, new rules governing which devices can be used to access a cable-TV subscription outside the home are also being considered:
While someone logging in from a phone or tablet would be fine, someone using a Roku device at a second location could be considered a likely freeloader, one person said.
If none of those tactics work, pay-TV subscribers could someday be required to sign into their accounts using their thumbprints.
But taking more aggressive measures poses risks. The people using services for free — especially younger consumers — may never agree to sign up for a subscription, no matter how many hassles they endure.
A recent analysis has revealed that the pay-TV industry is projected to lose $6.6 billion in revenue from password sharing and piracy this year.