In the last decade or so, digital video content piracy has risen significantly, as the internet became more widespread. As a result, video watermarking has become a must for all creative firms.
However, some pirates are able to get beyond these protection measures and wreak havoc on content providers’ revenue streams. These include in-theater recordings, DVD and Blu-ray Disc duplicating, and streaming recordings of SVOD DRM protected content.
In order to make money by illegally distributing content, pirates attempt to do so. They rely on a variety of strategies to raise money:
Uploading stolen content and getting paid for it: People that upload pirated content on pirate websites are frequently offered compensation schemes in order to encourage such activity. Web traffic produces cash, but cyberlockers’ online hosting of digital content is where the majority of that revenue is generated.
Advertising: Piracy websites, like the majority of other online content providers, monetize their material through advertising. Ad networks, on occasion, are tricked into displaying advertising from branded campaigns that they aren’t. ad impressions and the amount of times a piece of illegal content has been seen (if advertising is present within the audiovisual file itself). “Pixel Stuffing” is also utilised, in which a 1×1 pixel ad is put in an undetectable method on the website that the users will not see, but it would still count as valid viewing.
User data can be sold to third parties: Pirates can also collect and sell user profiles, including their personal information, to other parties, such as ad networks that use that information to deliver more relevant adverts.
Illicit gear is being sold illegally: Pre-configured illicit streaming devices are also sold by some pirate websites, which can be used to stream pirated content without the need for additional preparation. Younger audiences are more likely to use such devices.
Subscription to a higher level of service: Users can also pay a monthly subscription to pirates to get access to unlawfully obtained hosted content. Similar to Netflix, but without DRM protection or video watermarking; this is how such pirate websites operate.
Reselling: To make money, pirates develop an app store with a wonderful user experience and offer it to a broadband provider as an additional service. As a result, these services are packaged and sold as a legitimate product.
Forensic watermarking, on the other hand, can deter or identify these methods. Once content leakage has been discovered, law enforcement agencies can be alerted to the illegal actions and take appropriate action. Additionally, content producers have the ability to shut down distribution methods or user accounts that are deemed to be infringing.
To combat piracy, Hollywood studios expect OTT platforms to implement not only multi-DRM measures, but also a powerful forensic-watermarking option, enabling their anti-piracy teams to quickly discover how and from which users their premium content is pirated. Service providers that offer both services can be found in SaaS providers that also maintain a database of watermarks.