Video Entertainment

Password sharing: Challenges and opportunities for OTT video providers

In an era dominated by online streaming and video consumption, Over-The-Top (OTT) services have emerged as the go-to choice for entertainment. In 2022, the number of people using OTT platforms was 3.26 billion and by the end of 2023, the number is predicted to grow up to staggering 3.8 billion!

As the popularity of OTT services rises, three critical factors have become the cornerstones of success for these platforms: secure distribution, guaranteed premium user experience and attractive monetization models. However, a big challenge has been on the horizon for a while now – password sharing.

What is password sharing?

Password sharing – a common practice among users – allows individuals to share their login credentials with friends, family or even strangers. It offers convenience, making it easier for people to access content and allows for cost-sharing, making subscriptions more affordable. Additionally, password sharing allows users to explore different libraries without subscribing to multiple services.

However, it’s important to be cautious about sharing passwords with strangers to avoid compromising security. While it may seem harmless, widespread password sharing presents significant challenges for video streaming companies.

What challenges does password sharing pose to OTT video providers?

One of the challenges is revenue loss. When the number of subscribers decreases due to password sharing, the companies experience a direct loss in income. As a result, their bottom line is negatively affected, potentially hindering their ability to invest in improving the platform or deliver quality content.

Another challenge is increased costs, as a result of higher infrastructure utilization. This unpredicted usage surge happens when operators need to serve a higher number of users that are not registered subscribers. Providers carefully assess the performance of their platforms to cater to a specific number of subscribers, however, when individuals share their passwords, the number of concurrent users multiplies, exceeding the predicted capacity of the platform.

As a result, OTT video providers find themselves unable to support this influx, leading to a range of issues such as slow buffering, blackouts and other frustrating interruptions. The surge in concurrent users strains the resources of the streaming service, including server capacity, bandwidth and other essential components.

Having recognized the significance of this issue for OTT video providers, it is crucial to emphasize that there exists a key challenge in addressing it, as it poses the risk of displeasing subscribers who may perceive it as a restriction on their freedom or an escalation in costs.

Why is transparent communication key, when discouraging password sharing?

Addressing the topic of password sharing can be challenging due to customer frustration and the risk of subscriber churn. Additionally, concerns about increased costs and a perceived loss of freedom further complicate the issue. When companies deal with any kind of shift, clear communication with subscribers is vital.

In this case, it is essential to explain the reasons behind discouraging password sharing and the benefits it brings to both the company and the users. By fostering transparency and trust, video streaming companies can navigate the sensitive topic without alienating their customer base.

Can password sharing challenges be opportunities?

Challenges often come with hidden opportunities and discouraging password sharing is no exception. While it may initially appear as a threat to the status quo, embracing this challenge opens doors to innovation and growth. By taking proactive measures, video streaming companies can use this opportunity to improve their business, enhance user experience and create new monetization avenues.

When implementing concurrent stream management solutions, companies can ensure that their services are not abused, preventing unauthorized access and protecting the integrity of their content offerings. This approach strikes a balance between preventing excessive sharing and maintaining a positive user experience, which is crucial for the long-term success of any OTT service.

OTT video providers can capitalize discouraging password sharing by introducing more personalized and user-friendly plans, creating the opportunity for investment in technological advancements to improve streaming capabilities, ensuring faster streaming and steady playback. These investments ultimately benefit all subscribers, providing them with a superior streaming experience that keeps them engaged and loyal to the service.

Why is discouraging password sharing a win-win proposition for OTT providers and subscribers?

Discouraging password sharing could be a win-win proposition for both OTT video providers and subscribers, with some of the benefits being:

  1. Affordability: Reduces entry barrier for the service making it more affordable for end user and thereby motivating people to subscribe to get full experience.
  2. Improved user experience: Allows OTT video providers to better assess the infrastructure needs of the platform while aligning the user experience to the needs of the specific viewer, including hyper-localization, access to early releases etc.
  3. Better targeted advertisements: Increasing the relevance of advertisement for end user and better utilization and monetization of ad inventory for an operator.

How can you overcome the challenges of password sharing?

If you want to tackle password sharing and unlock the full potential of your OTT platform, we are here to help. Irdeto Control is the most reliable, scalable and secure multi-DRM solution proven in the market. It empowers your OTT video service with simple integration, management, and global support “round-the-clock”, providing you the differentiation you need to stand out, offer your viewers an unmatched user experience and grow your business by attracting more subscribers.

For more information on Irdeto Control get in touch with us today.



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