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How to avoid losing customers due to DRM changes

Richard Scott, SVP Sales and Marketing, Irdeto | April 24, 2015
This blog provides an overview of the evolution of web browsers, how this will affect OTT service providers and why it is essential for operators and service providers to evaluate the different DRM technologies that will be needed to reach their current and future target platforms.

As web browsers implement a specific DRM technology in their platforms and at the same time phase out support for other DRM plugins, viewers will no longer be able to watch content that is protected with a DRM technology different to the one embedded in their browser. 

How this will affect OTT service providers

Content distributors and operators delivering video services to PC or Mac will have to ensure they support all the main DRM formats needed to reach the different browsers used by their viewers.

However, the impact is much greater than that affecting the DRM security. Indeed, this change will impact several components and functions of the overall video delivery ecosystem, including:

  • DASH packaging with common encryption: Operators will need to look at upgrading their content packaging to support DASH and CENC. Packagers need to be integrated with multi-DRM, CENC-capable key management systems.
  • JavaScript video player that runs on HTML5 browsers: In order to leverage HTML5 MSE and EME extensions to play protected content on browsers, operators will also need to deploy JavaScript DASH players. A more detailed description of the technical details can be found in this whitepaper.
  • Support for multi-DRM: Given the browser market fragmentation, operators need to have a multi-DRM strategy to address the main web browsers.
  • Migration path: Operators will need to support legacy DRMs and delivery systems (e.g. for connected TV's, older browser versions and devices) for a period of years in the coming future.

To remain in step with the industry-wide evolution, operators and service providers need to make a full analysis of their current business, their operational infrastructure and their future needs. They need to evaluate the different DRM technologies that will be needed to reach their current and future target platforms.

And they need to look to whether managing an increasingly complex ecosystem is effective use of resources or whether they should source a technology-agnostic solution that will reduce complexity and simplify day-to-day operation while maintaining an optimal experience for their viewers.


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