Akamai takes content protection to the edge

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Responding to the needs of its broadcast customers whose streaming offerings have evolved into critical business units, and to help protect them from pirates’ attempts to capture content and minimise their means of illegal distribution, content delivery network specialist Akamai has developed a content security ecosystem combining its own capabilities with those of key partners.

In addition to addressing common pirate attack vectors such as credential theft, system hacking, rebroadcasting stolen streams, and VPN abuse, the ecosystem now includes a range of third-party watermarking solutions, according to Akamai’s Chris Nicholson.

In a Blog Post he says that giving customers the flexibility to work with their vendor of choice, Akamai to date has partnered with a number of watermarking providers: ContentArmor Forensic Watermarking; Friend MTS ASiD Watermarking; INKA Entworks PallyCon Forensic Watermarking; Irdeto TraceMark; NAGRA NexGuard Forensic Watermarking and Verimatrix Watermarking, StreamMark version.

“With partners that support A/B watermarking, Akamai has taken a further step of integrating their capabilities into our edge network,” he writes. “This allows customers to realise the added benefit of Akamai’s scale, reach, and performance. Otherwise, watermarking is offered as a joint solution.”

According to Nicholson, the urgency to shut down illegal streams is normally greatest in the case of live sports. This is where significant money has been invested in streaming rights, and the value of the content is highest during what’s typically a narrow window of competition time.

Akamai’s Access Revocation solution gives rights holders the power to immediately stop video streams that are unauthorised or the source of piracy. Access Revocation can work on its own or integrated with either the Friend MTS or NAGRA watermarking solutions to be part of what Nicholson suggests is a ‘formidable prevent-discover-enforce’ content security posture.

He says that the partnerships that established content security providers are forming with Akamai demonstrate the critical role the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform plays in helping to combat the growing issue of video piracy.

“While we’ve seen a greater sense of urgency when it comes to securing live events, these combined solutions are equally effective for linear/simulcast streaming and video on demand use cases,” he claims. “For any instance, the integrations are complete and ready to go out of the box so users can begin securing their content and protecting revenues right away.”

All of the watermarking solution providers above are part of Akamai’s Media Technology Partner programme, which Nicholson says is designed to foster interoperability, and referral agreements between Akamai and best-of-breed third-party solutions providers give customers a range of options in selecting workflow components that work seamlessly with Akamai solutions deployed on the Akamai platform.


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