The role of digital rights management
Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a complex subject. To help you better understand more about the many technical concepts and seemingly obscure terms, please take a look at our extensive FAQ page.
While the goal of DRM is to enable advanced business rules and to protect valuable content during transport and storage, the realization of that goal involves complex tasks and processes. A DRM system has many touch points in an end-to-end streaming media workflow, including content encryption, DRM license deliveries, and DRM clients in a variety of consumer viewing devices.
DRM systems implement pay-TV security and are used both by over-the-top (OTT) streamers like Netflix and Hulu, and pay-TV operators to augment their managed broadcast services with TV Everywhere (TVE) access on mobile devices, inside and outside the home. A top-notch DRM system is key to secure content delivery, especially for Ultra HD (UHD), live sports and on-demand premium programming.
Common OTT and DRM challenges
The range and sheer number of video-capable viewing devices has been growing rapidly since OTT services became a mainstream alternative some 10 years ago. Thanks to ubiquitous video streaming support in mobile devices, consumers can enjoy their favorite programming literally anywhere. The downside of this growth is an increasing device, OS and DRM fragmentation among web browsers, Android and iOS phones and tablets, computers and smart TVs. These devices use several different DRMs, which come natively integrated for protecting streaming content.
To enable a great Quality of Experience (QoE) across all devices, OTT operators must support multiple incompatible DRMs. Managing this ever-growing fragmentation using in-house resources is complicated and costly. Instead, leveraging a content protection service from a security expert is the better approach. A cloud-based multi-DRM service is the enabler for a transparent and unified QoE across this fragmented device universe.
In addition to meeting the fragmentation challenge, delivery of DRM licenses must be timely and highly robust. Video services are encrypted before transmission and viewers cannot play the content if the DRM license is not delivered timely, which in turn could cause costly subscriber churn. The scalability and availability of a multi-DRM service is especially critical for live events, where a large number of subscribers want to watch the same event concurrently. So, the OTT provider has to scale up the DRM services very quickly to meet the sudden bursts of DRM license requests during the live event.
The goal of our DRM FAQ
Intertrust’s extensive FAQ page can assist you in demystifying the many technical concepts and terms of DRM and more. The FAQ covers a wide range of OTT content protection topics, from basic principles such as the difference between Conditional Access Systems (CAS) and DRM, to technologies used to implement cloud-based multi-DRM services and forensic watermarking, to name a few. For example, you can dive into concepts such as:
- Content Decryption Module (CDM)
- Common Encryption standard (CENC)
- Common Media Application Format (CMAF)
- Content Protection Information Exchange format (CPIX)
- Encrypted Media Extensions (EME)
- Media Source Extensions (MSE)
- Secure Packager and Encoder Key Exchange (SPEKE)
- Trusted Execution Environment (TEE)
- Ultra HD (UHD) security
We invite you to visit the DRM FAQ page today.
About Bo Ferm
Bo Ferm is a Product Marketing consultant for Media Solutions at Intertrust Technologies. He is a versatile technology professional with 30+ years of successful B2B positions in Europe, North America and South East Asia. He has worked extensively with pay-TV technologies, with the past 12 years dedicated to content security in various forms.