The distribution of premium content, especially 4K or UHD videos, comes with the most rigorous protection requirements to counter content piracy. There is a persistent demand for an effective DRM (Digital Rights Management) solution that supports a wide range of platforms, devices, and technologies while appearing transparent to users. However, behind the scene, a DRM has to integrate with multiple sets of components that make up a content supply chain workflow. The components include players (of all screen types), encoders, and back-end systems. Further complications crop up in integrating components developed in-house and those by third-party vendors.
With the various platforms and devices come the varying DRM technologies they support. The big three that virtually all web browsers, devices, and TVs support are:
- Google Widevine – Widevine is a popular DRM technology, acquired by Google in 2010. Integrated to the Google ecosystem, Widevine is supported on a broad range of devices, from the Android operating system to Smart TVs, browsers, etc.
- Apple FairPlay – FairPlay is a DRM technology from Apple, designed to secure content packaged using HLS (HTTP Live Streaming). FairPlay is supported on all iOS devices, Apple TV, QuickTime, and content stored locally on Apple Music.
- Microsoft PlayReady – PlayReady was introduced by Microsoft in 2008. The DRM technology is available within Microsoft products while also having a wide range of device support, such as Smart TVs and Gaming Consoles.