Current trends and future projections
by Nik Forman, Marketing Director at Friend MTS
With 80% of respondents to the recent IABM/Axinom survey indicating the high importance of DRM, and 55% already implementing watermarking technology, it’s clear that using technology to prevent unlawful acquisition and redistribution of content is seen as a critical business driver.
At the same time, the same survey points out the discrepancy between a stated intention to invest in content, and a far lower priority for investment in content security technology to safeguard against the theft of that content. This might seem to be a bit of a disconnect, especially given the financial, operational and potentially creative resources that will be required to produce or acquire the content. So what are the potential reasons behind this disconnect?
The list of positive and negative drivers of investment in content protection solutions provided in the report reflects the elements that drive the conversations that we have with our customers around the world, and may shed a little light on the concerns that are potentially hampering investment. In particular, these drivers include characteristics of the content itself and those of the various security solutions that are available.
Content to protect
With finite budgets, it would be true to say that not all content is equal and requires an equally high level of protection from illicit redistribution. Traditionally, it’s premium live sports and exclusive studio movies that have been at the top of the pyramid with lower-cost, niche programming appearing as a negative driver of investment. While this is still very much the case (with the caveat that live sports now needs to be protected on both broadcast and OTT), the world of video is ever-expanding.
The proliferation of unique content across non-traditional environments is already driving a requirement for video content security services in non-traditional sectors and we have seen an increased demand for our content protection and anti-piracy solutions from content creators, corporate and other enterprise users.
Content protection solutions
One of the positive drivers is technical flexibility of content protection systems. Like other media technologies, the most attractive content protection solutions are those that offer maximum technical flexibility.
Firstly, this flexible architecture benefits the user operationally. With a noticeable move away from previous levels of complexity around security solutions, driven primarily by new technology and deployment models, some watermarking solutions are extremely lightweight. For example, client-composited watermarking can now be deployed in as little as two weeks, with minimal impact on existing infrastructure. As a result, this type of watermarking is now amongst the most widely deployed in the world, bringing the obvious commensurate business benefits, and is a direct result of the drive to provide simpler solutions and less complex deployment.
Secondly, this new security technology enables providers such as Friend MTS to more easily keep pace with ever-evolving piracy technology and ever-increasing sophistication of pirate attacks. Piracy-as-a-service operating a huge network of wholesalers, resellers and affiliates, is a big business, with revenues unencumbered by licensing fees or the costs associated with content creation. What content thieves don’t pay for content production or licensing goes straight into development of security circumvention technologies: pirates innovate aggressively to lay their hands on the high-value content that they want to monetise within their own services.
Of course, there are different types of watermarking solutions, and some may be more suitable for certain content types and distribution models. With other must-have content protection solutions like DRM, the key is understanding how this potentially complex environment fits together, and which components will do the right job for each individual customer’s content model and distribution environments – and communicating this to them clearly and effectively.
The mission-critical foundation that underpins this entire process is independent, agnostic advice based on expertise, operational environment analysis and business intelligence. In short, when looking to implement a content security environment, make sure you consult a proven expert who won’t just sell you what’s on their particular van.
To learn more about content and revenue protection or to schedule a demo, schedule a call with Friend MTS.
Note: Friend MTS is a sponsoring supporter of Piracy Monitor. Opinions expressed by contributors do not represent endorsements by Piracy Monitor.