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27 February 2020

Two products, two wins, two countries – a top week for Verimatrix

While many companies will sit on certain PR eggs until the next major trade event, new-look security specialist Verimatrix went ahead and announced two customer wins this week to fill the void left by the abandoned MWC show. Each deployment is contrasting in market nature, with one in Albania and another in Indonesia, but share common ground on the basis of cloud-based multi-DRM upgrades.

Verimatrix’s win at Albanian IPTV operator TiBo is an interesting case first of all, as TiBo initially went with Verimatrix for what the vendor traditionally does best which is revenue protection, but then upgraded to cloud-based security infrastructure. The announcement gives the impression that TiBo made this upgrade decision post haste, quickly realizing the benefits of cloud-based security like watermarking, reducing operational complexity, benefiting from analytics capabilities and even adding monetization opportunities by extending OTT distribution to smart TVs.

It’s a no-brainer, and increasingly in an OTT video world we are seeing Verimatrix being credited not just for providing the actual security systems for existing revenue streams, but in organically helping to secure new business by getting signatures of major content names over the line.

So, faced with a high volume of illegal distribution, TiBo has gone live with Verimatrix Multi-DRM and Verimatrix Secure Cloud technologies to secure IPTV and OTT video delivery, on a SaaS basis.

TiBo selected Verimatrix based on country-unique challenges when approaching studios for licensing deals, given how Albanian-language content is supposedly highly sought after by pirates. We know all about Verimatrix’s technology, but the company’s branding and reputation here is therefore just as important – which is precisely why the business remained Verimatrix following the acquisition by Inside Secure.

TiBo is also available outside of Albania on Android TV set tops and Android-based smart TV sets, for example in Italy, which broadens its vulnerability to pirates. Costs are reduced further by employing a simple HLS-only streaming approach where content is encoded and encrypted just once, although TiBo’s lack of support for DASH restricts its reach.

Like TiBo, Indonesian OTT service provider Mola.tv has rolled out the two complementary Verimatrix Multi-DRM and Verimatrix Secure Cloud products, with optimized DRM capabilities. But as a pureplay OTT platform in Asia Pacific, Mola.tv faces very different challenges to the ones being addressed in Albania.

While TiBo has struggled inking studio deals, Mola.tv highlights “extremely valuable premium content” in the form of highly desirable English Premier League soccer rights. Securing these live streams over any other content asset is Mola.tv’s priority and deploying Verimatrix Multi-DRM has allowed for immediate content protection.

Being provisioned with 24/7 monitoring and automatic software updates is a key component of the Verimatrix Secure Cloud – clearing the field for companies like Mola.tv to focus on building their subscriber bases.

The beoutQ piracy debacle in the Middle East, which has ravaged Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports to the tune of a gut-wrenching $1 billion, has sent alarm bells ringing the world over where they weren’t already when it comes to securing live sports.

Of course, Verimatrix is not alone in having a multi-DRM offering since that is the way the OTT world has been moving for several years. Operators and content providers are left having to cater for them all if they are to maximize their reach. This has happened partly because a native DRM operates efficiently on its device and eliminates DRM client licensing costs because it is usually free on its own platform.

But it creates a need for a multi-DRM approach to ensure that only a single copy of each asset needs to be stored rather than one for each DRM. It is also important to ensure that a single encryption process can target all the different platforms with their native DRMs, again to reduce costs and complexity. Another key requirement is ability to integrate and operate multiple license services, so that they all communicate via the same entitlement language.