For decades, cable was king when it came to entertainment. As broadband Internet quickly spread during the 2010s and users wanted to access content from their mobile devices, over-the-top (OTT) media quickly outpaced cable. Today, there are over 600 million OTT subscribers globally. This industry generates over $100 billion in annual revenue, a figure that is expected to top $332 billion by 2025.
In this fast-paced industry, providers face two key challenges. On one hand, to retain customers, they develop proprietary solutions that must be kept safe from the prying eyes of competitors; on the other, piracy is also growing, putting providers at risk of noncompliance with content rights owners and costing them a good chunk in lost revenue.
The Critical Value of Intellectual Property (IP)
At a time when competition in OTT is at an all-time high, customer retention is the order of the day. This prompted providers to invest in proprietary solutions to enhance buffering, analytics, or even the experience of using the player.
Stopping Piracy, Filling The Security Gap
Losses from piracy are expected to grow from $9.1 billion (2019) to $12.5 billion (2024), urging providers to employ advanced solutions to minimize their exposure to content leaks.
DRM, a widely used anti-piracy layer, ensures that content can only be accessed by rightful users. However, it doesn’t provide any further protection when the content reaches the user’s display — meaning that malicious users can capture the content and redistribute it.
“The only watermarking implementation that makes sense today is client-side. Adding code protection must be a standard step for maximum resilience.”
A Self-Defending layer will prevent more determined attackers from debugging or tampering with the code. This is done by scattering integrity checks throughout the code that are triggered when attackers open a debugger or make any change to the source code. When that happens, countermeasures are issued such as breaking the app, redirecting attackers, or issuing a custom callback. This Self-Defending layer is crucial both for preventing intellectual property theft and attackers’ attempts to bypass the watermarking agent.