Can site blocking help fight online piracy?

With the proliferation of different ways to access pirated content, does site blocking have any impact? That was a question I received during a recent piracy panel discussion. Let’s have a look to see if it does.

What is it?

Put simply, site blocking is a technical means by which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can disable consumer access to target sites. This can be by using DNS based -, Url- or IP blocking capabilities.

What lessons can pay-media operators learn from online retail?

With consumers as the common denominator, it’s not surprising that similarities can be seen across some industries. In the media industry, the need for change to keep up with changing consumer demand is widely accepted. But what is the formula for success? Can any parallels be drawn with online retail?

Online’s disruptive nature
It was a Forbes article that made me think: ‘The inconvenient truth about e-commerce: it’s largely unprofitable’. It explains that e-commerce has been disruptive. The radical shift online is presenting challenges

Collaboration is critical for a successful raid against online pirates

Gone are the days where online piracy was an individual sharing illegal content with a few select “friends”. Today, online piracy is a highly sophisticated operation that often spans different countries and jurisdictions. To be effective in fighting this continually growing threat requires a team of experts.

Pre-match build up
OTT piracy remains the biggest threat facing pay-media operators and content rights holders. Illegal supply of premium content, especially live events such as soccer is driving this increase.

Will Android kill middleware as we know it?

Google’s Android operating system took just a few years to go from upstart newcomer to dominating the global mobile market. Can it do the same for TV?

In my last blog, a primer on Android for STBs, I described the options available to operators: the “plug-and-play” Android TV service, and the more customizable self-build route based on AOSP. Is this combination enough to kill-off the market in proprietary middleware?

Android for STBs: What every pay TV operator should know

Launching a pay TV platform typically requires 2-3 years’ development to create a customized user experience based on proprietary middleware with continuous updates throughout the STB lifetime. It’s slow, expensive and requires specialist developers, but operators get the UX they choose. Google’s AOSP and Android TV are shaking up this status quo. Android rose from zero to global dominance of mobile markets in under seven years, so it’s little wonder this disruptor is being taken seriously.

What will it take for the media industry to unite against online pirates?

The availability of high quality content and broadband access becoming the norm is making online pirates’ lives a lot easier. Content owners, sports rights holders and operators are taking steps to address this problem. But is it enough to have the impact needed to curb the rising tide of piracy?

Disruption affecting studios
Studio’s revenue comes not only from box office performance but also from a complex system of staggered releases…

Consumer piracy survey insights for pay-media operators

The Irdeto global consumer piracy survey is the largest ever conducted. With over 25,000 adults across 30 countries participating, it provides unique insight into the dynamics of online piracy. Comparing the youngest age group (18-24) and the oldest group (over 55) we can see the differences but also some surprising similarities.

There’s lots that we can pull from the extensive data, but let’s just focus on a couple of angles.

Think perimeter security is enough? Think again…

Most of the data breaches you hear about these days are assessed from the server side. Take a recent incident in the financial services industry—a serious malware attack on the Polish banking sector that was tied to a campaign targeting organizations in more than 30 countries. In this case, a web application was infected with malicious code that spread from workstation to workstation. The malware was injected on the server side and then spread to clients using JavaScript embedded in the website. The truth is, this type of attack is the easiest to prevent.