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The time is now: Fight pirates with Digital Watermarking - Insights from Friend MTS

This blog post was provided by Friend MTS.

It’s hard to believe that stolen content represents as much as half of all video content consumption. Revenue losses are staggering: the legitimate industry lost €3.21 billion to illicit IPTV in Europe in just one year (2021) according to the recent study by Bournemouth University undertaken for trade body the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA).

Controlling the unauthorised use of valuable video content is a challenge felt industry-wide, but there are services and tools that can help. One such technology is watermarking. Digital forensic watermarking, in essence, involves adding user-unique information to video without impacting the output quality. Rest assured, this powerful solution is a key component in your fight against piracy. Here are a few reasons why…

It cuts the anchor for pirates

The piracy of premium content created or owned by broadcasters, service delivery operators and platforms certainly costs them a pot of gold (and has other detrimental impacts too), so it’s important to deter thieves at every point in the distribution chain. Digital watermarking can be applied at the subscriber or distributor level, allowing you to easily identify the source of the pirated stream, and quickly suspend the service - denying access to it by the illicit re-streamer. Cut the anchor on access, prevent the uncontrolled spread of the protected content across global piracy networks and in turn, save your revenue.

End-to-end protection is the secret

Digital rights management (DRM) is of course industry standard when it comes to protecting in-flight OTT content, but complete content protection doesn’t end at the point of receipt. DRM is a must for protecting content on its way to the viewer, but once it arrives, it’s an open game for pirates. Content needs to be protected beyond DRM, and this is where watermarking comes in. Watermarking, in concert with effective content monitoring, should be implemented as part of a highly secure content distribution strategy - ensuring end-to-end protection.

It protects your treasure in real-time, anywhere in the world

There are a few different types of watermarking. Client-composited watermarking (such as ASiD OTT), allow the extraction process to happen in an extremely short window, enabling the identification of content theft in as little as a few seconds. The source of pirated content can be identified and stopped while the broadcast is still live, enabling you to shut down illegal activity while the event is still in progress, hitting pirates where it hurts them the most.

It maintains a robust and high-quality ship

The quality of the end product is paramount for video content. Fortunately, watermarking plays nicely in this environment - a digital watermark is imperceptible to the human eye, which means that your video looks as good at the endpoint as it always had. Nobody even knows it’s there, until a content protection company shuts the pirates down!

Sink or swim: don’t lose the fight with pirates

Digital watermarking is a truly powerful tool in the fight against content piracy, already being used by broadcasters, rights holders, delivery platforms and service providers around the world. They are seeing genuine, commercial results – and we can help you achieve the same. 

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