Unauthorized access to your video or your partners’ video is a big deal. That’s why content owners throughout the industry go to great lengths to control who gets access, when they get access, and how often. In other words, authenticated streaming and downloading are essential components of any pay TV business.
But not all methods of content security are equal, or more importantly, right for you. thePlatform works closely with the leading content protection technology providers to meet a wide range of security requirements, which includes authenticated streaming and downloading.
In its simplest implementation, a single purchase or subscription can enable an end user to access all of the content on your site, which could involve authenticated streaming or downloading. But there are a variety of questions to consider regarding how you package your content for end users:
Let’s take a closer look at how content can be restricted.
Rights define how your audience may use your content. The exact set of supported rights options are specific to the digital rights management (DRM) system that you use. Protected media playback, e.g. authenticated streaming or downloads, works in two phases: identification and license acquisition.
Once a user has been identified, they must then acquire a license to initiate playback (streaming or downloading). The identification phase requires user identification and may include device identification (authentication). In the license acquisition phase, an authenticated user requests authorization to receive a license that enables protected media playback (authenticated streaming or downloading).
During the processing of the eligibility phase, the entitlement will apply to one or more of the requirements described above. Additionally, the scope may identify a specific playback format, which can impose additional content limits for either technical or marketing reasons, eg. it will only allow access to the high-definition versions of the media during authenticated streaming or downloading, depending on the user’s subscription attributes.
The mpx Player has features that enable playback of media protected by different types of DRM systems.
These features are available in plugins that handle the following aspects of a protected media flow:
Note: The plugins that are required for an environment are specific to the implementation.
Let’s take a look at a few of the major content protection solutions available.
Adobe Access encrypts Flash FLV and F4V video files, which can then be streamed (authenticated streaming) or downloaded to Microsoft® Windows®, Apple® Mac OS®, Linux®, and Android® platforms, and enforces business models such as online video rental. Consumers can enjoy high-quality content at their convenience, whether they are online or offline.
The mpx’s Entitlements system integrates with Adobe Access for content packaging and license generation. Data from a Rights object is used to fashion the policy that sets the restrictions enforced by the Flash Player.
The mpx Player can play content protected with Adobe Access. It ships with four distinct plugins that work in conjunction with content that has been processed and protected using the mpx Entitlements workflow. The plugins work within the mpx Player component and prompt the user to download any additional software necessary to view the protected content via authenticated streaming or downloading. Once the additional software has been installed and credentials provided, the user can play media to which they’re entitled.
Check out the Adobe Access to learn more.
Microsoft PlayReady supports a wide range of business models for digital content providers, including:
Just as with Adobe Access, the mpx Entitlements system integrates with PlayReady for content packaging and license generation, and the mpx Player supports playback of PlayReady-protected content.
The PlayReady and Identity plugins prompt the user to provide any necessary credentials, and then the user can play media to which they’re entitled via authenticated streaming or downloading.
check out their partner page to learn more about Microsoft PlayReady.
mpx also provides a base level of support for Widevine, Windows Media DRM, and Marlin.
Akamai, the leading Content Delivery Network (CDN), offers authenticated streaming as a lighter-weight alternative to DRM that meets the content protection requirements of many customers. Akamai SecureHD provides multi-layered security for live and on-demand authenticated streaming that can be used together or independently across each of the supported runtimes to protect against the most common threats to content.
Adobe Media Server supports a SWF verification feature that restricts media download to pre-approved SWF files. This feature requires special coordination with your content delivery network, but it does provide a means to restrict video playback to only those applications and sites that you grant access.
Regardless of how you want to control access to your content, thePlatform and our partners have likely solved the challenge for you already.