Long reads


Q&A: Steve Oetegenn, Verimatrix

Steve Oetegenn, chief operating officer at Verimatrix talks about combining forces with Inside Secure, the changing security needs of rights-holders and the growing impact of streaming piracy

Why does the combination of Inside Secure and Verimatrix make sense?

While both companies have a focus in security, our expanded areas of expertise and target audiences are quite complementary. Inside Secure enables Verimatrix to reinforce our security heritage in additional markets at an accelerated pace, including entertainment, mobile, and IoT.
Verimatrix brings new dimensions of business value to Inside Secure’s product portfolio in end markets that are fast shifting towards software and cloud-based security and analytics solutions.

What benefits do you foresee the combined company providing to customers?

When you get down to it, the combined company excels at providing the right level of security required within very complex systems. We do it efficiently and reliably, which has established a high level of trust between us and our customers.

Together, we provide firm foundations to accelerate of growth vertical markets that face critical security challenges through comprehensive, end-to-end security and analytics service offerings.

How are the needs of rights-holders to provide secure distribution of content evolving and what solutions are likely to best meet their needs?

There is undoubtedly room for improvement in how premium video content is licensed and protected. A new generation of OTT-optimised premium security solutions has been introduced, but content providers have had limited options to move beyond the old ways of doing things when it comes to negotiating contracts and managing all the steps from encryption to reporting that go into protecting content.

In the past, it was possible to deliver in-the-clear programming in a single contribution format over secure links to video service operators. Today, providers need to deliver assets into a range of aggregation points. And they need to manage the distribution of decryption keys and digital rights policies for each piece of content transmitted to each affiliate. There is also a risk of asset theft as each operator decrypts and re-encrypts the content in preparation for delivery.

We have been able to address these issues by creating secure, easy to deploy, connected content distribution workflows. Through our VCAS Ultra and RightsConnex integration, we help automate the flow of content rights and entitlements directly from content providers to operators. Contract terms are translated for all the DRM modes used in distribution to optimally manage usage windows, playback policies and the keys that deliver the right content to the right operator in a secure fashion.

In turn, viewer and usage data derived from the Verspective Analytics solution are automatically sent back through the workflow, providing actionable viewership analytics that content providers can use to confirm policy enforcement.

What impact has the growth in streaming piracy had on the need for digital watermarking as a security technology?

We have found that the infrastructure and tools that have advanced streaming video services are the same technologies being exploited by pirates for illicit redistribution. Yet at the same time, as pirates are focused on content redistribution rather than just sharing control words, their activities have inevitably become more visible and traceable through two-way IP networks. This makes it also possible to detect illicit services and even streams in near real time and is essential for tackling live stream piracy where business damage is caused quickly such that retrospective legal action against pirates is of limited value.

Forensic watermarking is part of what we refer to as the third pillar of security – traceability. It is the best technique for marking and subsequently identifying illicit streams imperceptibly to the user. For this reason, forensic watermarking was mandated as part of MovieLabs’ Enhanced Content Protection recommendations for UHD/4K quality content for both on-demand content and now live sports rights.

The need to create uniquely marked streams for each end user can add complexity to the workflow, so we are working closely with our customers to offer ways to streamline the watermarking process and make it easy to deploy.

What security challenges do TV Everywhere deployments raise and how can a technology solution such as Verimatrix’s nTitleMe help?

nTitleMe is really about providing a friction-free TV Everywhere experience for content providers, video service operators and viewers.

A level of frustration still exists with subscribers trying to access their content through a complex login process, as well as between content providers and the video service operators regarding authentication – which has been expensive and time-consuming, requiring numerous integrations with individual operators.

Our solution connects via a single integration to the backend of the operator’s platform to authenticate and authorise subscribers to receive content. It also provides fraud protection mechanisms to safeguard content and associated revenues.

Content providers can increase revenue by achieving the widest possible audience reach. Video service providers are able to provide a friction-free user and brand experience. A single sign-on for subscribers allows them to easily watch content on any authorized device.

nTitleMe nicely complements our expanded range of content protection solutions from Inside Secure.

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