Tablet, smartphone video content protection key to DRM Evolution

Joseph O'Halloran | 08-09-2013

Indicating the huge potential in second screen video and content protection, a new ABI research study has revealed that the mobile arena is now fundamental to the evolution of digital rights management (DRM).

The new report from the analyst’s Multiscreen Video Middleware and DRM Research Service highlights DRM market opportunities such as include multiple components, comprising authentication, intellectual property and tools, core DRM technologies, and implementation services and pay-TV services. It concludes that the DRM market will grow at a rate of 12% annually to 2018 to be a $1.2 billion. By the same time, ABI expects the related conditional access (CAS) market to decline slightly to dip below $1.5 billion annually.

Explaining the fundamental dynamics of trends in these areas, Sam Rosen, practice director at ABI Research, said: “pay-TV TV content protection markets are being turned on their heads as responsibility at delivering IP video content to the consumer is starting to shift from Pay TV distributors, such as Comcast, DirecTV and Sky, to programmers including NBCUniversal, HBO and ESPN. The shift from classic CAS products which, simply speaking, deliver content to a set-top box to more DRM products, which can work with third party smartphones, tablets and connected TVs, has already been well described.

“Equally surprising is that many of these technologies will become standardised through MPEG-Dash and Ultraviolet such that the responsibility will shift from encryption algorithms to end-to-end system implementation. Premium value content protection and live streaming of TV everywhere are emerging areas within the DRM landscape; it is these areas where providers need to be focused on differentiation today.”

ABI believes that the pay-TV services submarket, which most closely mimics the classic CAS market, represented only about 35% of the total addressable market in 2012.