Premium video content owners who use OTT platforms are always concerned about their offerings’ security. DRM and forensic watermarking are widely used by the OTT industry to demonstrate to content owners how serious they are about combating piracy.
At the heart of a DRM solution is video encryption. This process encrypts video assets in a highly secure non-video format so that the underlying video files cannot be accessed by anyone other than an authorised procedure. In the event that a system is breached, the encoded file will be unusable because it cannot be read. Streaming this file or chunks of it as DRM protected content ensures that the content is protected throughout its distribution chain.
The encryption pattern cannot be studied or reversed without the encryption key. AES-128 is the most commonly used algorithm for encrypting video files, as it has gained the trust of the industry’s most prominent figures on the matter of security.
It’s difficult for content providers to securely distribute this encryption key to their customers and viewers. If you don’t protect your keys, an authorised user can decrypt the content and play it. This defeats the purpose of the encryption. By employing multi-DRM and video watermarking technologies together, content owners are able to defeat the hacker. It is possible to protect a piece of content with any of the DRM technologies available, including Google Widevine, Apple FairPlay, and Microsoft PlayReady when using a multi-DRM strategy. But other players, too, are gradually making their presence known in the field.
Forensic watermarking and multi-DRM services are frequently sold together by a SaaS vendor. While the former aids in the tracking of legitimate use of premium video content, the latter enables content owners to track users who leak their content to the piracy eco-system to track down their leaks. The extraction of watermarks is a quick process that can help owners shut down illegal streams in just a few hours.
The video watermarking service must be integrated into the entire distribution process. Every step of the way, the user is protected by end-to-end DRM from beginning to end For the watermarking process, the embedder module feeds a pre-processed file, which is typically encoded using a pre-determined algorithm. Each of the video streams produced by this embedder module has its own unique identifier. Invisible to the naked eye, these watermarks are spread throughout the video stream and are virtually undetectable.
All the bit rate renditions in files watermarked with progressive bit rates can be contained in a single manifest file with the.ism extension. Both of these files should be located in the server’s root directory and easily accessible via a streampath and manifest extension path. Watermark embedding is required in both scenarios, so let’s go over the steps one by one.
There must be some compromise between the watermark’s robustness and its imperceptibility. In order to maintain a fluid and secure experience for the viewer, a delicate balancing act between these two aspects is essential. Overzealous security measures can impede the viewing experience of legitimate customers, so content providers must exercise caution. It is an indication of the success of a watermarking service that its watermarks are both imperceptible and resistant to piracy, as this addresses both security and smoothness issues.