Verimatrix hitches a ride on AWS API; Inside Secure lands “the next Pixar”

Comcast Cable pledged the future of its business to Amazon Web Services (AWS) last week, which was followed swiftly by US security expert Verimatrix announcing an API integration with the Media Services wing of AWS. Although not publicized, Comcast’s allegiance to AWS suggests less reliance on its in-house cloud infrastructure, and similarly, the latest update from Verimatrix may convince Comcast to add the MultiRights OTT multi-DRM product to bulk up security currently handled by an in-house DRM system.

MultiRights OTT brings set tops, HTML 5 browsers and consumer devices under a single rights management security system, and by integrating with AWS Media Services, Verimatrix can provide pay TV operators, broadcasters and pure play OTT video providers with a cloud-based product handling ingest, processing, packaging and delivery of content at scale.

Comcast has built up a reputation of developing technologies in-house, many inherited via various acquisitions over the years. Middleware, ad insertion, analytics, CDN, security, cloud infrastructure and WiFi software have all been heralded as in-house success stories by Comcast, and most recently the operator claims its X1 video platform has been developed entirely in-house without long-term supplier TiVo – although we doubt the credibility of this being 100% free of TiVo IPR.

The industry transition to virtualization of video infrastructure to keep pace with unprecedented scale, beyond what in-house assets are capable of handling, has led Comcast the way of AWS, which was already hosting a sizable share of Comcast’s operations when this was announced.

Operators the world over will follow Comcast’s lead by making AWS their preferred public cloud infrastructure provider, for the purpose of migrating material workloads and building new applications. This, in turn, means API integrations with AWS Media Services is an increasingly tempting option for vendors like Verimatrix. Where content security is concerned, the integration allows customers to accommodate the evolving face of digital rights management – sending out updates on a more regular basis.

Prior to AWS hosting Comcast’s Xfinity X1 video platform, for example, Comcast was rolling out updates every 12 to 18 months. The pay-as-you-go pricing model adopted by AWS is another key selling point for the tech titan’s suite of media products.

As new devices emerge, they tend to come with their own DRM, leading security vendors to adopt multi-DRM strategies, as well as analytics and subscriber management components. This highlights the trend towards integrated delivery incorporating all the elements needed to insulate operators from the complexity of reaching multiple devices.

Verimatrix launched a cloud OTT product hosted on AWS in August last year called Secure Cloud, to allow operators to scale security services to match the scaling out of OTT-delivered content. This week’s announcement from Verimatrix differs in that MultiRights DRM is sliding into a more well-rounded package for operators – centered around AWS Elemental MediaConvert and MediaPackage encoding technologies.

“Our API integration with AWS Media Services addresses the diverse constellation of video providers moving at different rates towards the goal of complete cloud-based and virtualized operations,” said Verimatrix CTO Petr Peterka.

Another content security announcement of note in the OTT space this week came from French firm Inside Secure, winning a deal to secure a new streaming service from media technology firm PodOp. The system is used in the interactive Android application for HBO’s storytelling production, Mosaic, which first launched on iOS and Apple TV in November.

Far from being another interactive gimmick, the $20 million project has received rave reviews for changing the way TV is viewed. Mosaic lets users decide which scene to watch in any particular order, piecing together the murder mystery mini-series at their own pace, as well as unlocking clues such as documents, voicemails and extra video clips along the way. Director Steven Soderbergh said on Mosaic’s launch, “I want PodOp to become Pixar. We’re going to be the Pixar of branching narrative.”

PodOp has filed 14 patents for the technology behind Mosaic, covering storyboard management and analytics tools. PodOp is also looking at open sourcing the platform for other filmmakers.

As with the Verimatrix news, Inside Secure’s deal could be baby steps towards winning a major contract at HBO for its OTT services HBO Go and HBO Now, which are supported mainly by BAMTech software. HBO, like Comcast, constructed its own technology, but ditched this project in 2012, instead turning to MLBAM for OTT technology. Inside Secure’s Content Protection Solution supports all major DRMs, advanced playback functionalities and analytics, as well as claiming the industry’s best software hardening solution.

“Our proprietary technology, tools and scalable infrastructure let filmmakers tell interactive stories at scale. Inside Secure was a great security partner for us as we developed Mosaic, helping protect our interactive storytelling format as well as keep our innovative content secure from piracy,” said PodOp co-founder Casey Silver.