Explain why OTT platforms need to protect their content using forensic watermarks

Explain why OTT platforms need to protect their content using forensic watermarks


Today, content piracy is a widely prevalent menace impacting the pay-TV and OTT platforms regressively across the globe. Digital TV research estimates present a grim picture: The media industry may lose a staggering USD 51.6 billion by 2022 due to online TV and movie piracy, hitting the business viability of many OTTs.[1]

Taking cognizance of this looming threat, many Hollywood studios use forensic watermarking to protect both the revenue stream and premium content against sophisticated piracy attacks. This technology has proven to be among the most effective tools to detect the spurious distribution of premium content and deal with coordinated piracy networks effectively.

Forensic video watermarking wraps a robust security layer around the entire content delivery framework in a secure cloud environment. Many content owners and distributors already have a multi-DRM layer protecting their premium content across multiple devices and OS. Pirates come up with innovative, tech-intensive methods to break the business model of OTTs. As multi-DRM protection falls short on many accounts, additional protection techniques, such as forensic watermarking, become a sheer necessity. Forensic watermarking complements DRM protected content and makes it harder for pirates to distribute premium content through jailbroken devices, screen grabbing, or analog-to-digital conversions.

Content owners should also be conversant with effective management of post-content leak scenarios: Every minute post-content leak, businesses lose millions as pirated content is often of the same quality as content broadcast through the original source. Forensic watermarking comes in handy in two respects in such scenarios. From the moment the leak takes place, watermarking helps content owners obtain clear visibility of the problem and judge its magnitude. The technology also locates the actual source of the leak and guides the content owner to take immediate actions to bring down the content, including appropriate legal actions against the malfeasant actors.

In summary, forensic watermarking is a robust content security framework that ensures a seamless and secure end-to-end content delivery mechanism from content encoding to piracy detection. This process is a win-win situation for content creators – giving them more control over monitoring their content consumption, maintaining customer loyalty, and ensuring the content-platform exclusiveness factor remains intact.

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