anti-piracy for video entertainment and OTT streamingToday’s entertainment industry has evolved and diversified rapidly to accommodate the massive surge in the digitalization of content. Whether through the rise of on-demand entertainment or the increasing popularity of live sports broadcast, watching your favorite shows and events are now as simple as the click of a button. Instantaneous and easy access to high-quality content, however, lures in online piracy.

This article will discuss piracy detection and which areas of the video entertainment industry can benefit the most when protecting billions of dollars’ worth of content.

What is online piracy?

Online piracy happens when copyrighted content is distributed, copied, or shared for others to consume either for free or for a reduced subscription on pirated websites. To combat rampant online piracy, cybersecurity vendors work to protect your valuable content from unauthorized distribution, maximizing the subscription and viewership revenue for live events and video-on-demand.

Which industries would benefit most from piracy detection?

Pirates target the highest-grossing industries within video entertainment. These include:

  • The film industry loses billions of dollars in revenue due to online piracy. Movies account for the top 17% of content pirated, resulting in approximately $97 billion dollars globally. Blockbuster releases and fan favorites are often released online alongside their theatrical release and sometimes even earlier. Therefore, securing video content is more critical than ever.
  • The sports industry is a top target for pirates, especially during the critical viewing window of a sport event. Whether it is the Olympics or the next NBA game, sports broadcast boasts a high view count. However, an estimated 52% of sports fans turn to illegal streaming than legitimate subscriptions when watching these events, making it crucial to protect the licensed content.
  • Pay-TV and Over-the-Top (OTT) compete with pirates for viewership. Despite the decline in Pay-TV subscriptions, (due to the popularity of other streaming mediums) it is still a top choice for live sports and a prime target for illegal streaming. Pay-TV operators can secure their content smartly in order to prevent piracy, retaining their subscribers.
  • Media subscription lures pirates who make illegal streaming of the high-quality content of premium OTT service providers possible. Pirates take advantage of costly subscription fees and distribute the content on their domains often for free, or for a lower subscription rate.

How is the industry impacted by piracy?

Let’s stress this – without a protective end-to-end anti-piracy solution, your content is vulnerable. Not only can it be freely distributed across the internet at your expense, but it also invites other significant damages. For example, when your content is found on pirated sites – which are often loaded with malware and explicit advertising – it can negatively affect your brand reputation as a trusted entertainment provider.

To add to that, let’s not forget that a large amount of revenue is lost due to piracy each year. In the US, $28.3 billion is estimated to be lost in live sports broadcasts; similarly, $29 billion is lost in film and television. These are only a snippet of the global industry numbers, which warrants immediate action against online piracy.

What can you do about online piracy?

On a brighter note, fighting piracy is no longer a standalone job. Cybersecurity solutions are combined with law enforcement agencies to deliver a well-rounded anti-piracy approach in securing online content. Irdeto, for example, offers its own Online Piracy Detection (OPD) solution which leverages innovative proprietary crawlers and combines piracy expertise to quickly enforce infringing content – making it easy for you to protect your assets.

E-BOOK: Piracy in the streaming world: Understand what you are facing