In the past few years, there has been an exponential increase in video consumption. According to Statista, in 2019 alone, the number of digital video viewers was 2.6 billion, which is reported to increase up to 3.1 billion in 2023. With the increase in the number of viewers, the number of platforms catering to them also increased. A few years back Netflix was the only major player in the video streaming market. But now there are many more platforms, including Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, and many more.
With so many streaming platforms available, users often prefer to pirate content rather than pay for a particular platform. In this current scenario, if you don’t focus much on video protection, chances are that your videos will be downloaded and freely available for users. This in turn hurts your revenue by a lot, as users would rather prefer to watch your content for free. The movie industry alone suffers an annual loss of revenue of about 40 and $97.1 billion. If your account for eLearning, personal wellness, and other online platforms, this number can rise up even more.
You don’t necessarily have to lose your revenue due to piracy. DRM solutions or Digital Rights Management, solely exist for this purpose- to save your videos from any illegal access.
But then, you might be wondering, what exactly is a DRM Solution? How can it help you? And many more questions. But you don’t have to worry about it, as you’ll get an answer to these questions and more. So, fasten your seat belts and bring out your notepads. Cause this is going to be a ride and not that one filled with just joy and excitement. Which only riddles you with guilt afterward. You’re only going to come out of this journey wiser (hopefully!?)
What Is a DRM Solution?
DRM Solution is essentially a Digital Rights Management Software, which ensures that your content is only accessible by anyone you authorize. You can use Video DRM Software to make sure that your content is only accessible by the user you authorize and you can even manage the browser or devices they consume your content on.
In a lot of cases even though the videos are encrypted, the key used to decrypt the video is often easily accessible. Any hacker with some knowledge can then easily get access to the encryption key and then access your content. Once he’s downloaded the video it’s then easy to spread it to other pirates
With a DRM server, your encryption keys are hidden and aren’t accessible to anyone unless authorized by you. This way you protect your videos from any potential hacker or download tools. This makes sure that your content is not pirated and you don’t lose any revenue due to piracy.
In fact, with a DRM solution, video platforms tend to see a rise in their revenue. Read this case study by Vdocipher on how users end up raising their revenues up to 990% with the help of a DRM Solution.
A DRM solution caters to different forms of content, they can be -video, audio, video games, comics, ebooks, etc. In this blog, I’ll focus on DRM solutions for video and audio streaming.
But before that, let’s have a look at what DRM protected content exactly means.
What Does “DRM-Protected” Mean?
The phrase “DRM protected” means that the digital content it is being applied to is restricted in how it can be used. “Digital rights management” is the term that describes a systematic authorization for the use of copyrighted material.
A DRM protected content is nothing but the digital content on which DRM protection is applied. Basically, any piece of digital content you protect with a DRM solution would be considered as DRM protected content.
As mentioned in the above section, content becomes DRM protected when you apply a certain set of rules on your copyrighted content to restrict any unauthorized access.
These DRM restrictions are usually against downloading or making a copy of your video. Also, the number of times your videos are being accessed and even the devices on which the video is being viewed. These DRM restrictions can be as simple or complex according to your requirements.
Understanding DRM requirements for your business
When choosing a DRM solution for your business, there are some key aspects to understand.
Accessing content security requirements – While choosing a DRM solution, it is important to evaluate the level of protection your business requires. The various considering factors include the value of your content, the potential risk of piracy and unauthorized access as well as compliance and regulators requirements.
Identifying target platforms and devices – The chosen DRM solution needs to be compatible with the devices and platforms your audience uses to access your content. This includes web browsers, media players, and device types. Identifying this requirement beforehand will ensure seamless delivery for your users.
Analyzing your content distribution strategies – The DRM system should be compatible with the streaming protocol you use such as HLS or MPED-DASH. It should offer features like offline playback, geographic restrictions, and IP/Domain restrictions.
How does DRM Software ensure protection for your Videos?
Before I take a deep dive into how DRM solutions work, you’ll first need to understand what video encryption is. Then later I’ll show you how a Video DRM solution makes encryption even better to ensure that your videos are protected.
Video encryption is basically the process of encoding your videos to a non-video secure format. This ensures that no one can’t access your raw video files. When anyone wants to access the file, they’ll only get access to an encrypted file which is just random gibberish.
Encryption can not be broken and the encrypted files can only be accessed with the help of an encryption key. But then the encryption key exchange is where the weakness lies for any standard video encryption technology such as HLS, RTMP or AES-128. Due to the weak key exchange, encryption keys can be accessed by hackers to decrypt and then access the video. This ultimately defeats the initial purpose of video encryption. Although it would hinder anyone with no technical knowledge, anyone with some understanding of how to access the keys can easily work it out and share the video file with others.
DRM based encryption to protect your videos
DRM takes care of this exact weakness in video encryption and makes sure that the encryption key is not accessible by anyone unless authorized. A video DRM software encrypts the video and even protects the encryption key behind a BlackBox or CDM, which cannot be accessed by anyone. Before going into what a CDM is, you’ll need to know that there are different DRM solutions, which are used together to protect your content.
A typical video DRM solution consists of multi DRM, these different DRMS caters to different devices and browsers. These different DRM solutions are:
- Google Widevine DRM solution: It supports Desktop/Laptop (Windows, Mac, Linux) Chrome, Firefox, Edge. Android Chrome, Edge, Android TV, Android TV, Chromecast.
- Apple Fairplay DRM Solution: It supports Mac Safari, IOS Safari, IOS App
- Microsoft Playready DRM solution: It supports Edge in Windows. Windows Edge is also supported by Google Widevine, so Playready is not an absolute necessity.
DRM solution BlackBox the encryption keys in CDM or Content Decryption Module. This CDM, even though on your device, can not be accessed by you. This protects the key as it is kept in the CDM and it can’t be accessed by you or anyone. The only way to access the videos is through Encrypted Media Extensions (EMEs), which are sent via the respective Video DRM System.
As Google and Apple have some control over your browser, OS, hardware or all of these. They can exercise more control and security for DRM encrypted streaming.
Choosing a DRM service provider: what features to look for?
When choosing DRM tools, there are certain features that can make your content even more protected. One of these can be dynamic watermarking, which inhibits users from screen grab video. These are the features that you need to look out for in a DRM Solution:
Encrypted DRM Streaming to Prevent Download
First and foremost is obviously the Video DRM protection. You need to make sure that the DRM service provider supports both Widevine DRM as well as Fairplay DRM. Having the two DRM is an absolute necessity as they pretty much guarantee DRM support on all the major devices.
Screen Capture Blocking
Another major feature you would require is a screen capture block. Even though the video downloads are blocked, users still can record your screen to capture videos. You need to make sure that the DRM Solution you go for stops any type of screen capture.
Dynamic Watermarking with moving user details
Dynamic watermarking helps to discourage any screen capture. You can add the IP address, User-Id, and Email-Id to the screen. Using these, you can identify the point of origin of video piracy.
IP, Geo & Time Based Restriction
Sometimes you need to restrict video playback in certain locations or devices. A Video DRM solution can help you restrict access to a particular Geo/IP. Also, you can put restrictions on total user video playtime.
What are the challenges of DRM?
One of the main challenges of DRM is that it can be difficult to implement DRM in a way that is both effective and user-friendly.
What type of DRM Solutions are available?
There are a variety of DRM solutions available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The best solution includes VdoCipher which has a complete implementation, best infra and accessible support.
What is the result of a lack of video protection?
Ultimately it hurts your revenue by a lot. This revenue loss can be instant or in the future.
Is DRM a solution to Video Piracy?
DRM prevents anyone who does not have the dynamic key from being able to view or use the content. The downside to this solution is that it can be difficult to implement. A solution to implementation is DRM Encrypted Video Hosting providers like VdoCipher.
DRM Solution To Prevent Video Download Piracy
VdoCipher helps media and e-learning platforms to play videos on their website or app in the most secure and smooth manner. VdoCipher ensures their revenues are protected against video piracy. A combination of Hollywood-approved DRM encryption (Digital Rights Management), screen capture blocking, viewer-specific watermarking & licensing technologies ensures that videos can’t be downloaded or shared illegally from a video platform. VdoCipher serves 2000+ business customers from 40+ countries.
Head of Digital Marketing at Vdocipher. I love the art of connecting the right product to their users. When i’m not doing that i love getting lost in books.