Security technology developer BuyDRM was acquired by OVHCloud, a leading European cloud provider; to help OVHCloud gain market traction in the media and entertainment market space. According to the companies, the acquisition of BuyDRM brings a wealth of new customers to OVHCloud, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Blizzard Entertainment, Crackle, EPIX, FuboTV, Rakuten Viki, Sony New Media Solutions, Showtime and Zee5.
“We are delighted to join OVHcloud and to deploy our solutions on an industrial scale in the cloud. We are convinced that our skills will complement and enhance each other to further secure the data of cloud users, regardless of their technological challenges,” stated Christopher Levy, CEO of BuyDRM.
“By acquiring BuyDRM, we have not only gathered additional resources to accelerate our security roadmap, but above all, to develop together advanced and innovative solutions to support our customers in their adoption of cloud technologies.” said Thierry Souche, CTO of OVHcloud, in a prepared statement.
OVHCloud has made other acquisitions in recent years, including OpenIO and Exten Technologies in 2020. OVHCloud recently confirmed that it would go public on the Euronext stock exchange later in 2021.
See press release by OVHCloud
See press release by BuyDRM
Setting a context
In recent years, a core group of proprietary DRM (encryption) solutions have become defacto standards: Google Widevine, Apple FairPlay and Microsoft PlayReady (or, by adding China, four; with ChinaDRM).
All of the major pay TV security providers – including CommScope, Nagra, Irdeto, Synamedia, Verimatrix and Viaccess-Orca – support those three DRM platforms. They also continue to offer their own proprietary DRM solutions, even as most video providers are increasingly eager to minimize the choices down to the ‘core three.’
Widevine, Apple and Microsoft all classify their DRM solutions as ‘open’ – but if ‘open’ means that they have open APIs for integration purposes, then ‘open’ isn’t much of a differentiator since ‘open’ is pre-requisite in today’s connected world.
Outside of that ‘core three’ and beyond those pay TV security suppliers, proprietary solutions are available from several independent DRM companies, including Intertrust Technologies, EZDRM and castLabs. All of the above DRM vendors also offer some form of multi-DRM management platform to apply the “right” DRM for the “right” device and video form-factor. The fact that each vendor offers a multi-DRM management solution makes that category a commodity that the vendors differentiate mainly through their ability to integrate with outside processes and workflows.
Why BuyDRM may have been attractive
BuyDRM was probably attractive to OVHCloud for its range of pre-integrations, including with AWS Elemental’s SPEKE API to automate the application of DRM in the encoding workflow, APIs and pre-integrations with Android and iOS including native binaries for both OS platforms, and plugins to integrate with advertising and analytics platforms.
BuyDRM does not offer a proprietary DRM platform, which may have made it a more desirable acquisition target for OVHCloud, in that the acquiring company would most likely be loath to invest in product development for any proprietary DRM platform facing declining demand.
What BuyDRM lacks
On the minus side, BuyDRM lacks an anti-piracy solution, which many of the pay TV and independent DRM platform providers do offer in their respective product portfolios. BuyDRM also lacks software protection (software obfuscation, key obfuscation, tamper detection, etc). Less important these days but still a factor, BuyDRM also lacks a conditional access platform for pay TV.
One last caveat
There’s also a caveat for buyDRM. A fire in March 2021 completely destroyed one of OVHCloud’s data centers and damaged another. The cause of the blaze will likely not become public until next year.
We wish both companies a trouble-free future in their new strategic partnership, and hope that they can address any concerns posed by investors prior to their IPO.
[ Note: Several of the companies mentioned in this article are supporters of Piracy Monitor. However, this article represents the independent opinion of Piracy Monitor and is not intended to endorse any of these companies. ]