According to a new survey from Irdeto, 32% of U.S. consumers watch pirated video content. Of this group, 24% are most interested in TV shows, while another 24% are most interested in movies currently in theaters, with another 18% interested in movies that are already on DVD and Blu-ray. Sports and SVOD content were further down the list.
Worse, when respondents were told that piracy results in studios losing money, in turn reducing their ability to invest in new content, 39% said this had no impact on how much pirated video they watch. And just 19% said this financial damage would cause them to stop watching pirated video. It’s also worth noting that 69% of respondents said they knew consuming pirated video is illegal.
5 Steps to Making Multi-Screen Video Work with the Cloud
As we charge into 2014, pay-TV operators aren't just toying with the idea of granting consumers access to content from a variety of connected devices; it is now the standard. This shift in viewing consumption has driven operators and technology partners to 'look under the hood' of their platforms and re-assess content delivery and management schemes.
The biggest concern facing operators is how the industry can protect content when being delivered over different devices. How can operators achieve the right content protection mix and content management scheme in a scalable fashion while ensuring a consistent user experience? The answer could be found in the cloud. Following are 5 key steps to consider for making multi-screen video work with the cloud:
I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 132nd edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for May 11, 2012. This week's topic is content piracy and to dig into it we're joined by a guest, Stuart Rosove, VP of Marketing at Irdeto, a software security provider.
We kickoff the discussion with Colin and Stuart each sharing some data on how extensive piracy is and what flavors it comes in. As Stuart explains, there's a huge range of piracy activity from criminals who profit from piracy to hackers motivated by bragging rights to casual viewers like college students who don't think they're doing any harm, to frustrated consumers who can't find legitimate access to confused consumers who aren't even aware they're doing something illegal.
To get a sense of how critical the piracy issue is, Forbes has written that HBO's hit show "Game of Thrones" is on track to become the most-pirated show of 2012, reaching a staggering 2.5 million illegal downloads per day. It's a very complicated landscape, which will become even more so as connected devices proliferate. Stuart also shares information about how Irdeto is helping content companies as many pirates as possible to paying customers.
For premium content providers with a paywall approach, digital piracy is one of the most pressing issues. But there is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" content security approach because there are huge differences between the types of people who pirate content - from those who aim to sell and profit from it to those who are willing to pay, but aren't able to find legitimate outlets.
To help content providers better understand content security and deploy the optimal solutions for each situation, Irdeto, a global software security company, has introduced what it calls the "Piracy Continuum," a framework that segments various types of offenders. In this NABShow interview, Irdeto's VP of Marketing Stuart Rosove explains the framework, and how Irdeto is helping content providers convert content security from a cost into an asset. See video below (8 minutes, 17 seconds)
Surely one of the most enduring questions I and others who watch the online video industry are asked (and in fact often ask ourselves) is: How can video management and publishing platform companies continue to launch, even as the space already seems so crowded?
Personally I've been hearing this question for at least 6 years, going back to when I consulted with Maven Networks, whose acquisition by Yahoo was one of the few industry exits (and likely the best from an investor ROI perspective, regardless of the fact that it was shut down little more than a year later as part of Yahoo's retrenching. With yesterday's launch of Episodic and the recent launch of Unicorn Media, plus last week's $10M Series C round by Ooyala, it's timely to once again try to make sense of all the activity in the platform space.
The best explanation I offer traces from my Econ 101 class: supply is expanding to meet demand. Over the past 10 years, there has been an enormous surge of interest in publishing online video by an incredible diversity of content providers. Importantly, interest by content providers has intensified in the last few years. I can vividly recall 2003 and 2004, trying to explain to leading content providers why online video was an important initiative to pursue. Still, their projects were often experimental and non-revenue producing. Contrast this with today, where every media company on earth now recognizes online video as a strategic priority.
But even as online video's prioritization has grown, many media companies don't have all the strategic technology building blocks in place. In fact, many continue to use home-brewed technology developed a while back. The range of video features needed continues to grow and evolve rapidly. Consider how requirements have expanded recently: live, as well as on-demand video; long-form programs as well as clips; paid, as well as ad-supported business models; mobile, as well broadband distribution; multiple bit rate, as well as single stream encoding; in-depth analytics as well as top-line metrics; widespread syndication as well as destination-site publishing; off-site, as well as on-site ad management. The list goes on and on.
As media company interest has grown, technology executives and investors have taken note. Venture capital firms continue to see online video as a high-growth industry (even if the revenue model for content providers is still developing, as are many of the platforms' own revenue models), with significant macro trends (e.g. changing consumer behavior, proliferation of devices, improved video quality, etc.) as fueling customer interest. Another important factor for platforms is rapidly declining development costs. As Noam Lovinsky, CEO of Episodic told me last week, open source and other development tools has made it cheaper than ever to enter the market with a solid product. With ever lower capital needs, a new video platform entrant that can grab its fair share of the market has the potential to produce an attractive ROI.
Of course all the noise in the platform space means media executives need to do their homework more rigorously than ever. I'm a strong believer that the only way to really understand how a video platform works, how well-supported it is and how well-matched it is to the content provider's needs is to vigorously test drive it. Hands-on use reveals how comprehensive a platform really is, or how comfortable its work flow is, or how well its APIs work. While I get a lot of exposure to the various platforms through the demos I experience and the questions I ask, I'll readily concede this is not the same as actually living with a platform day-in and day-out.
Another complicating factor is that while there are some companies purely focused on video management and publishing, there are many others who offer some of these features, while positioning themselves in adjacent or larger markets. When I add these companies in, then the list of participants that most often hits my radar would include thePlatform, Brightcove, Ooyala, Twistage, Digitalsmiths, Delve, KickApps, VMIX, Grab Networks, ExtendMedia, Cisco EOS, Irdeto, KIT Digital, Kaltura, blip.tv, Magnify.net, Fliqz, Gotuit, Move Networks, Multicast Media, WorldNow, Kyte, Endavo, Joost, Unicorn Media and Episodic (apologies to anyone I forgot). Again though, this list combines apples and oranges; some of these companies are direct competitors, some are partners with each other, some have a degree of overlap and so on.
There's a long list of platforms to choose from, yet I suspect the list will only get longer as online and mobile video continues to grow and mature. At the end of the day, who survives and succeeds will depend on having the best products, pricing the most attractively and actually winning profitable business.
What do you think? Post a comment now.
With momentum growing for "TV Everywhere" type services, it's to be expected that technology vendors will begin offering products that meet the evolving range of requirements video service providers will encounter. One example is ExtendMedia, which today is introducing OpenCase "Publisher." With TV Everywhere type services still so new, even labeling the various capabilities video service providers will require to succeed is still a work in process. In a meeting last week, Extend's executives helped me understand what will be needed and what the Publisher product provides.
To date, much attention around TV Everywhere has focused on "authentication" - how a service provider would implement credentials (e.g. logins and passwords) so only authorized users could access its online video catalog. This gatekeeping step has rightly received a lot of focus, because leakage of any premium video must be prevented. Authentication is tricky though, as users must be verified as being who they say they (e.g. passwords haven't been improperly shared). But assuming for a moment that tight authentication processes are implemented, other challenges and opportunities remain.
For example, once authenticated, service providers need to be able to expose only those parts of their overall catalog each specific user is entitled to view (e.g. if I'm not an HBO subscriber, I shouldn't get access to HBO programs online). This notion of "service management and provisioning" means service providers need to create different bundles online, just as they have done offline. And the bundles need to be easy to change: a service provider may want to change a channel lineup and/or a subscriber may want to add a new channel.
Service management and provisioning itself requires that there's a scalable content management system in place. The service provider will need to be able to ingest lots of premium video from many different sources while also and accepting and assigning specific rules to each program as needed (e.g. one program may be available immediately and indefinitely, while another will be available just for a week, but starting at a specified future time). In addition, metadata must be assigned so programs can be tracked, and searched by users.
The above requirements are further complicated because TV Everywhere services are envisioned to work across multiple devices as well. That means that authentication must also work on smartphones, gaming consoles, portable media players, etc. The devices themselves must be registered and recognized so they can be linked to users' accounts. In some cases license terms will further restrict how specific parts of services are accessible, and under what addition terms (in turn possibly requiring DRM).
Last but not least is monetization. Given current plans not to charge extra for TV Everywhere, advertising from online viewing is the main new revenue-generating opportunity. So integrations with ad servers already used by content providers, along with the ability to measure and report on usage, is another crucial capability. Separate, a totally new monetization opportunity will be trying to upsell online subscribers on new services. For instance, HBO might run a promotion offering a sneak peek of a "True Blood" premiere to all TV Everywhere users. The service provider needs to not only support the promotion, but also offer one-click upsell subscription to HBO, and dynamic provisioning of the whole HBO catalog to the new subscriber.
As I've written previously, TV Everywhere is an exciting step forward for both the broadband industry and video service providers. Yet it is a very new world where things get complicated very fast. Vendors like Extend - and other leaders like thePlatform and Irdeto to name two - which have traditionally focused on cross-platform support for video service providers are increasingly going to be called on to turn executives' visions into reality.
What do you think? Post a comment now.
(Note - ExtendMedia and thePlatform are VideoNuze sponsors)