What Exactly Does It Imply When Someone Protects Their Content With DRM?

People are consuming a much greater quantity of content on over-the-top (OTT) platforms now than they were before doing so in the post-Covid period. The major Hollywood studios are producing original material that is tailored specifically for the viewing pleasure of OTT subscribers and users. The income from over-the-top (OTT) services in North America reached USD 49 billion in 2020, according to a report by Digital TV Research, and it is anticipated that this number will reach USD 94 billion by 2026. [1] However, the dramatic increase in viewership and revenue brings with it the risk of revenue loss due to piracy, ineffective subscription management, shared passwords, the failure to optimise for device fragmentation, and unauthorised users making use of premium services.

The vast majority of OTT applications use some form of digital rights management (DRM) technology, such as Google’s Widevine, to prevent and detect instances of content piracy. It should be stressed that DRM-protected content has more benefits than simply controlling piracy through file encryption, even though this is a well-established practise in the video-streaming industry and using a multi-DRM SaaS to manage video assets is a well-established practise in this industry. In contrast to IPTV, which only makes channel-level DRM schemes available, digital rights management (DRM) technology enables over-the-top (OTT) systems to govern more fine-grained facets of user management for individual video assets. A video stream can now come in the form of live broadcasts, downloaded files, or video that can be watched whenever the viewer wants.

The subscription options that are made available by an OTT platform can be differentiated based to the geographic region of the user or the type of content being streamed. OTT platforms are also aware of the processor-level protection provided by DRM technology providers, particularly Google, whose Widevine DRM technology enables the app to play UHD files while maintaining adequate control against piracy. It makes it possible for over-the-top (OTT) platforms to maximise revenue streams by enabling them to sell their most lucrative plans on Android-based mobile devices and smart TVs.

In recent years, over-the-top (OTT) services have begun providing viewers with the option to pay for a pay-per-view subscription. This feature becomes popular just before major international sporting or entertainment-related events, such as the Oscars or the Grammys, the World Cup of Soccer, etc., in which users prefer to sign up only for the event on the OTT platform that has obtained its broadcasting rights. For example, the Oscars or the Grammys. The DRM system, with its multi-device user management capabilities, has the ability to restrict user access to video streams just for the purpose of the event in question.

The increasing popularity of over-the-top (OTT) services has significantly cut back on the common practise among users of purchasing digital copies of movies, documentaries, television shows, and other media in the past. However, there is still a sizeable portion of consumers who choose to download digital videos and keep their own copies rather than renting or purchasing them. Even after customers have paid for the movies, traditional merchants typically do not restrict their customers’ ability to download them. In a similar vein, over-the-top (OTT) services also permit users to download videos for offline viewing, which means that users can watch videos on any device they choose so long as their subscription is active. By validating the encryption keys through the DRM server, the digital rights management technology (DRM) can be adapted to provide protection for all of these video downloads made by authorised users.

It is possible to draw the conclusion that the DRM technology provides premium content with the advantages of both cloud-based streaming and offline playbacks, which in turn enables OTT platforms and traditional platforms to maximise their respective revenue streams.