Using Bitstream Watermarking Can Help Content Owners Track Down OTT Content Pirates More Quickly

Video watermarking technology is currently being used by the OTT industry to combat piracy by tracking premium streaming content and separating legitimate users from illegitimate ones, a method that has been proven effective. Video assets are watermarked using forensic watermarking, which embeds a watermarking ID into each frame of the video.

However, ultra HD videos and live games tend to be the primary targets of pirates, who target a wide range of content. Both of these distribution channels are viewed as weak points in the chain.

Watermarking technology has been discussed in numerous industry forums in an effort to combat international piracy. The Video Streaming Alliance, DASH-IF, and Ultra HD Forum are a few examples. Aside from standardising technology adoption and uniform protocols, these groups also focus on the security of DRM protected content, which is essential to OTT’s overall safety and stability.

When it comes to OTT platforms, it’s essential to have a variety of bit rates to accommodate the wide range of devices that subscribers use. MPEG-DASH and HLS are the formats of choice for most devices, so these forums focus primarily on developing solutions around these formats.

It’s not the only way to fight pirates, but video watermarking is getting a lot of attention. A few bytes from each video frame are substituted by the encoder in this procedure. Watermarking ID is created by inspecting the pattern of replacements in each video frame. Rather than using A/B watermarking to track the thief, professionals use this method because it requires a shorter video sequence to extract the watermark.

Due to the necessity of storing two copies of each encoded video in the similar A/B watermarking technology, the server costs are prohibitive for this method. Because only a copy of the altered video is required, bitstream watermarking has a distinct advantage. As long as the video has this watermark, content owners can easily match it with their database and identify the user responsible.

Pirates can also take advantage of the numerous platforms available. The pirate ecosystem, in fact, is thriving. For the same amount of content, users can get it for much less money on a pirated OTT platform than on a legitimate OTT service. Due to the current popularity of this style, it is critical that videos be safeguarded. Proprietary videos will be downloaded and made available on pirate websites if there is no security apparatus in place. Is it any surprise that this is a major revenue leak?

Forensic watermarks ensure that if the content leaks despite all precautions, the unique metadata embedded in each video frame can be traced back to its source. This strategy gives content creators a way to contact piracy-related organisations.

User requests via their browser are routed through EME where the playback client creates a unique key session for each user and device, as well as the video segments they are seeking. Video segments released to the client contain forensic watermarks containing a lot of this information. In the event of a leak, the user responsible can be traced thanks to the uniqueness of each watermark.

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