There is bad news for Netflix freeloaders as the streaming service cracks down on account sharing.

A UK software company has developed an AI programme to clamp down on people who share their Netflix password with family and friends.

According to Parks Associates research, account sharing could be responsible for up to $9.9 billion of losses for streaming sites and $1.2 billion of over-the-top revenues.

This week at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, a UK startup named Synamedia introduced an AI tool that allows streaming sites to get insight into users' account behaviour including if they are sharing an account outside of the user's address.

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The software is able to determine where users are logging on to their website - therefore it can tell whether users are logging in at home, a friend's place, or accessing from work, school or a hotel.

The AI can also tell if users are sharing their password with friends and family.

One survey found that 26 per cent of millennials use the password from someone else's account to watch shows on an online streaming service.

"Casual credentials sharing is becoming too expensive to ignore. Our new solution gives operators the ability to take action," Jean Marc Racine, chief product officer of Synamedia, said in a statement.

"Many casual users will be happy to pay an additional fee for a premium, shared service with a greater number of concurrent users. It's a great way to keep honest people honest while benefiting from an incremental revenue stream."

Synamedia says its system is being trialled by a number of content providers, although it won't reveal who they are.

- additional reporting ZM.