Report: 16% of U.S. Broadband Households Admit to Sharing Video Service Passwords

A Parks Associates report found 16% of U.S. broadband households admit to sharing their passwords for their video service accounts with other people.

According to the report, Innovations in Authentication and Personalization Technologies, service providers will have a difficult time moving subscribers to new methods of password-free authentication. Only one-third or fewer of U.S. broadband households are willing to use a non-password authentication method such as voice or thumbprint, while 54% of U.S. 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, Parks Associates research analyst, in a statement. “The push to staunch password sharing and piracy is driving initiatives where each interaction is graded based on prior user behavior, using data points like geography, time and watching behavior. 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 behavior.”

Password managers such as LastPass and physical security keys are currently fulfilling the need for better management and security around passwords, according to Parks. 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 personalized approach to authentication in addition to increased security,” Nayden said in a statement. “Poor experiences with authentication and personalization 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 U.S. all have some form of biometric technology.”

Innovations in Authentication and Personalization Technologies explores the readiness of new personal identification and authentication technologies for market deployment, analyzes best-fit use cases, and profiles major players that provide authentication and identification technologies or solutions.

The report also found 62% of consumers indicate they are very concerned about someone hacking an online service and obtaining their personal information, and 14% of respondents using a smart device or app with a personal assistant say that asking for information on scheduling for programs on TV is their most desired function with voice control.

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