Video Piracy: Tools Shifting from Device to Service

According to ABI Research, video piracy - the copying and selling copyrighted content - has shifted from pirated set-top boxes to content ...

According to ABI Research, consolidation in the set-top box market is not over.
According to ABI Research, consolidation in the set-top box market is not over.

According to ABI Research, video piracy - the copying and selling copyrighted content - has shifted from pirated set-top boxes to content redistribution over broadband networks. The most common forms of piracy today include illegal fully loaded Kodi boxes, social network live streams, torrents of exclusive series or movies, web-based redistribution via file lockers, and password sharing. Service providers lose $6 to $8 billion annually in revenue to piracy, ABI says.

"Content providers must shift their response to piracy from being device-oriented, such as traditional conditional access systems (CAS) and digital rights management (DRM), to comprehensive service-oriented approaches and modern tools against piracy," said Sam Rosen, vice president at ABI Research.

ABI says the most important tools available today include session-based watermarking coupled with real-time piracy monitoring focused on locating and identifying pirated content consumption and disruption of pirated content via terminating the source or disrupting the web services. Other tools include managing password sharing and working with other content providers in a market to effectively drive law enforcement to respond to the threat of piracy.

ABI estimates that nearly $400 million, or about 33%, of revenues in the DRM market will shift to service- or as-a-service (aaS) oriented revenues by 2022.

While protection of all pay TV and OTT content is important, the video ecosystem today is showing significant investment in new types of content in which the dangers of piracy are greater than in the past. Investments in exclusive content, live sports, early release VOD and UltraHD content create incentives where only specific platform providers in a market have access to the content. This may drive consumers to pirate if the content is not on their preferred platform, or is perceived as too expensive. About 32% of pay TV and OTT revenues are expected to be associated with one of these types of high-value content by 2022.

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