With the surge in OTT content consumption and the number of OTT platforms, content protection has also become a major concern. In the past, only pay TV was used to deliver premium content, making it easy for content producers to certify devices that could access it. However, with the internet and TV converging like never before, consumers want the flexibility of viewing across devices and platforms. Multi-DRM solutions, which are essentially digital licensing systems that control who can access premium content, are thus becoming increasingly popular. They help content creators comply with multiple DRM systems, thereby letting them stream content across devices and browsers and reach more consumers.
Multi-DRM systems use the MPEG-CENC standard to enable DRM video protection across multiple devices. It enables the usage of a single key for encoding and encrypting content, making it compatible with most DRM systems. The metadata of several DRMs is then added during the packaging step to complete the client request. The individual DRMs can then take care of license mappings and acquisitions in DRM protected content, with the media-player selecting the DRM to be used during playback.
However, DRM can only protect the content as it travels from the source to the target customers. Once the content is being played, pirates can record and redistribute it. This is where video watermarking comes in. It is the process of embedding a unique mark (code) in the content stream that can specify the content owner as well as identify the end-user and track them down if necessary. While DRM ensures that customers receive the content with rights and permissions they paid for, watermarking helps the content creator/distributor to identify users in case of content piracy and take the due course of action to stop it.
In the past, there was no one-stop solution to deliver both DRM and watermarking, and content distributors needed to use a combination of four to five different technologies to prevent piracy. With digital content consumption growing at an exponential rate, solutions are now available that can manage digital rights, are compatible with multiple devices, provide watermarking on both distribution and customer layers, and offer extraction and take-down services, making the entire process smooth and efficient.