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The Battle for Viewers: Competing against Piracy – User Authentication

Part 4 of a discussion about piracy

Can Security Improve the User Experience?

There are three main tenets for building a strategy, two of which – prevention and monitoring/traceability were covered in my most recent articles. The third security tenet, authentication, is about delivering a smooth user experience to access content across devices. Security should be frictionless. Any customer will tell you if it is too difficult to access your service, they won’t stick around to figure anything out. 

Progressive service providers are incorporating the latest passwordless authentication techniques to prevent theft of service and credentials, while making it simple for users to access the services and content they paid for. Even if a password is leaked, other details, like location and device IP addresses, are more difficult to emulate. This will also eliminate the problem of forgotten passwords when logging in to new viewing devices, such as smart TVs, or maintaining two different passwords for within a TV Everywhere experience.

Previously the viewer would either have to hunt and peck on a TV to type in authorization information. This is awkward, TVs aren’t the easiest device for this kind of user interaction. Passwordless authentication allows users to easily access content in a frictionless manner by using a QR code on a viewing device. Customers use the camera within their phone, point it at the code and they are automatically authorized for the service. 

Authentication business rules can ensure the user is at their usual location and using a device with a known ID. Business logic can also be used to limit credential sharing by tying authentication to both locations and devices. A user can be prompted on their phone to approve a movie purchase, or allow a child to watch specific content. 

Likewise, a geo-targeted, single sign-on experience for TV Everywhere content eliminates the need to sign in repeatedly. Consumers are more likely to abandon a service if they cannot easily enjoy their content wherever they are.

This is Part III of a five-part series dedicated to helping streaming service providers understand where their security vulnerabilities exist and what security methods will best protect, and ultimately enhance, their businesses in the most cost-efficient manner. Revisit Parts I-III

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