The technology of authenticating users for multi-screen video has come a long way since 2009 and the early days of TV Everywhere.
Automatic authentication of users and social login features are not yet the norm, but they are growing in popularity. Now Synacor Inc. is bundling both features into a new white-label product that will debut in the first quarter of next year. Both auto-authentication and social login fall under the auspices of the company's broader Cloud ID offering.
Auto-authentication allows pay-TV subscribers to gain automatic access to online video services by linking their content rights to the identity associated with a home broadband router. As long as users are connected to an online service at home, auto-authentication allows them to bypass any sign-in process and go straight to streaming authorized content. Outside the home, a subscriber can use login credentials from Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ and avoid having to remember a separate user name and password.
Synacor is far from the first provider to offer auto-authentication. After testing the feature during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has now deployed the technology under the product name Home Pass for all of its subscribers. (See Comcast Makes Home Pass.)
However, Synacor is now making auto-authentication and social login more widely available to small and mid-size cable operators. Plus, the company has more features planned for its Cloud ID solution. These include the pairing of online pay-TV accounts with social IDs, new fraud prevention tools, expanded Single Sign On (SSO) with Open ID support for partners, and authentication and authorization for mobile app developers.
On the competitor front, Clearleap is also making a run at mid-size cable operators with its authentication solution. The company introduced authentication technology in 2012 and today lists Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) as one if its premiere authentication customers. (See Clearleap Jumps Into Video Authentication and HBO Re-Ups With Clearleap.)
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable