How to prevent piracy of OTT content and stop excessive sharing of credentials

The OTT industry is on the verge of exploding, in large part due to governments restricting theatre crowding. Because of this growth, many traditional broadcasters have entered the online video market. The emergence of a number of new media companies specialising in OTT services has also occurred.

Over-the-top (OTT) providers are looking for new ways to entice subscribers from around the world in the face of stiff competition. Credential sharing is encouraged by established industry leaders to allow a group of friends or family members to access premium video content at a fraction of the cost of a single individual. Through this method, they hope to increase the number of people who subscribe to OTT services.

However, for OTT companies, managing users and limiting their usage to a reasonable plan becomes a concern. DRM protected content is their primary defence against credential theft. Users, sessions, devices, and licencing keys can all be managed using digital rights management (DRM) technology.

Users on multiple devices can be a challenge for content owners. Every day brings more and more devices connected to the internet, from smartphones to smart TVs to smart set-top boxes to even in-vehicle entertainment. There is a multi-DRM implementation in the security industry that allows each piece of premium content to be OS agnostic. It is possible for content owners to gain access to non-intrusive information about users and client devices through the use of multi-DRM SaaS vendors. Aside from the fact that it enables them to identify and prevent unauthorised credential sharing, it also helps them devise subscription plans that are more cost-effective.

In spite of the effective use of DRM technology, however, the security infrastructure of OTT distribution chains can be breached by hacker groups. Video watermarking is used by content owners to protect their content in these situations. Each frame of the video is encoded with forensic watermarks by the multi-DRM SaaS vendors. Information such as copyright, user ID, session ID, date, device hardware and software information, etc. are all carried by forensic watermarks. To track down the user who leaked the content, content owners can use these watermarks.

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