Netflix could ask customers to scan their fingerprint or use face recognition to clamp down on password sharing, an analyst has predicted.
In its annual round of tech predictions, CCS Insight says that by 2023, “streaming services such as Netflix [will] turn to these processes to validate users”.
“There’s only so much you can do with passwords,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight. “We may see one of the big streaming providers saying ‘we want some biometric proof that you’re there’.”
“I’m not saying you’re going to have a fingerprint sensor on your TV, but it could well be that if you want to watch something on a mobile phone, or even if you’re sitting at home, you will get pinged… ‘I want your fingerprint or I want a faceprint to prove that it’s you’.”
Wood said that Netflix is “coming under pressure” to deal with account sharing and would “learn lessons from the banks” in the methods they use to verify a customer is genuine.
Netflix account sharing fight
Netflix has already announced other plans to cut down on account sharing, which the company believes is damaging revenues.
Earlier this week, Netflix announced it would introduce a system that allows customers to add an extra member to their account for an additional fee. The company didn’t specify how much that extra charge would be, but in trials the company has imposed a fee of roughly one quarter of the standard account price.
In its early years, Netflix took a laid-back approach to password sharing, as the company continued to add millions of subscribers around the world. However, with subscriber growth beginning to plateau, the company is looking for ways to maintain revenue growth. A study released by Attest found that more than one in five people surveyed rely on a Netflix account paid for by someone else.
The company is also releasing a new cheaper tier of subscription that will include advertising.