Multi-DRM is a very good thing for the OTT market. It means that protected content can be encoded far fewer times, reducing transcoding costs and bringing premium content to viewers faster, a win-win for content owners.
We are happy to report that Ooyala Player 4 now supports multiple DRMs through MPEG-DASH common encryption (CENC), including Google Widevine Modular (Firefox and Chrome), Microsoft PlayReady (Internet Explorer), and Apple FairPlay. With Apple FairPlay, premium content is supported on any of the Apple platforms, including OSx, iOS and tvOS. (See the Ooyala Player (V4) documentation for more information.)
If you’re in the know when it comes to content protection and digital rights management, then you’ll understand the complexity created by OTT and the proliferation of viewing devices. Digital rights management architecture clearly did not plan for licensing content in a non-linear world. As a result, the workflows for publishing licensed content across all devices and browsers can be wildly inefficient. A single piece of content might need to be transcoded four times to cover desktop browsers, phones, tablets and connected devices.
When technology disrupts a market, as it has in the broadcast industry, chaos naturally ensues. The scenario described above is a perfect example. Now that OTT is the new normal, the industry is starting the drive towards efficiency. The move from Flash to HTML5 marches on and creates opportunities to streamline browser-delivered, paid-for video content. In parallel, the W3C has standardardized (Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) as the DRM technology on HTML5 web platforms.
In this new world, there will still be multiple DRM systems, hence “multi-DRM.” Despite this, things are much simpler behind the scenes. The benefit to the industry and ultimately to content providers, is that protected content will, in many cases, need to be encoded only once. This will mean reduced transcoding costs, and the immeasurable benefit of getting premium content to market faster - a major advantage to those companies with huge content catalogs. Not only will audiences get content faster but they will benefit from a higher quality viewing experience no matter what device or browser they are using.