Advanced Television

Research: 16% US homes share SVoD passwords

January 17, 2019

Research from analyst firm Parks Associates finds 16 per cent of US broadband households admit to sharing their passwords for their video service accounts with other people. Innovations in Authentication and Personalization Technologies reports that service providers will have a difficult time moving subscribers to new methods of password-free authentication.

Only one-third or fewer of US broadband households are willing to use a non-password authentication method such as voice or thumbprint, while 54 per cent of US broadband households are willing or very willing to enter a username and password once and save it on a device.

“Passwords represent risk for both users and service providers due to piracy and password sharing, but the password concept is ingrained in consumers’ conception of the online video experience,” said Billy Nayden, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. “The push to staunch password sharing and piracy is driving initiatives where each interaction is graded based on prior user behaviour, using data points like geography, time, and watching behaviour. Grading ensures that interactions that need a high level of security receive it while routine interactions allow users a frictionless experience. The authentication process will become virtually invisible to users, except when they attempt to access services outside their normal behaviour.”

Password managers such as LastPass and physical security keys are currently fulfilling the need for better management and security around passwords. Google entered the physical security key market in 2018, to compete with major players Yubico and Feitian.

“To drive adoption of new authentication methods, the industry needs to deliver a frictionless user experience, bringing a more personalised approach to authentication in addition to increased security,” Nayden said. “Poor experiences with authentication and personalisation technologies will drive consumers back to traditional methods and increase churn for video services. The smartphone will be one of the gateway devices toward a more biometric approach to user authentication—the top 15 smartphone models in the US all have some form of biometric technology.”

Additional research from the report includes:

  • 62 per cent of consumers indicate they are very concerned about someone hacking an online service and obtaining their personal information.
  • 14 per cent of respondents using a smart device or app with a personal assistant say that asking for information on scheduling for programmes on TV is their most desired function with voice control.

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