Digital rights management (DRM) is a technology for enforcing copyright licenses, user restrictions, and device controls using a combination of hardware and software features. It can be applied to software as well as content, like video files on streaming/OTT platforms.

With the immense popularity of video streaming sites, like Netflix and Amazon Prime, protecting content against unauthorized access and piracy has become a prime concern for Hollywood studios. The cost of producing and acquiring top-quality content is so prohibitive that major studios cannot afford to let revenue leak. They prefer to incur the extra cost of implementing a multi DRM solution and plug revenue gaps.

Google, Apple, and Microsoft are leaders in providing content DRM licenses to a wide variety of video and movie producers around the world. Among them, they cover almost all computing devices and web browsers, which end users use to access streaming content.

A multi-DRM approach requires a complex workflow due to various components involved in encrypting and decrypting the content securely. On the input end of the workflow is the live or VOD source, which provides the video feed or file, and on the output end is the user device which plays the video file, which could be a mobile device, a desktop browser, a gaming console or any other device. Between these two ends exist the encoding process, which pings any of the DRM provider servers – like Google Widevine, Apple FairPlay, or Microsoft PlayReady – to obtain the relevant DRM license key, a CDN, and a content decryption module, which rests in the user device.

A multi-DRM service makes server calls to all the components repeatedly for user authentication, especially if the content is being played on multiple devices with the same subscriber ID, and decrypting chunks of the video files, so that the whole of it is never exposed to a hacking attempt. A multi-DRM SaaS simplifies this process at the level of technology by creating a neat and automated workflow right from the input file to the user device and from the business perspective by offering pay-as-you-go subscription plans for studios and content producers. Some multi-DRM SaaS also provide their own DRM service.

A great multi-DRM service should allow content producers and OTT platforms to have least worries on protecting content and leave them time to concentrate on content production and earning revenue.