Is Broadcaster Adoption of Watermarking Becoming Part of the New Normal?

Jun Kim, Country Manager Korea at NAGRA shares his thoughts about broadcasters adopting watermarking solutions to track down increasing risk of content leaks and illicit usage and why the industry is starting to drive innovative strategies to protect their investments.

By Jun Kim Country Manager Korea NAGRA

It’s 2021, and good things are finally starting to come out of bad things. We saw a massive shift during last year in digital transformation directly benefiting us consumers, with a significant increase in better production quality and a shorter release window for premium content. But in direct contrast we then also saw a massive increase in online piracy across all types of content including that released by the U.S. studios. The interesting thing is that while the stories we hear are about major content providers, such as Disney+’s Black Widow being pirated the day of its release and in full 4K HDR glory, we tend to forget that traditional Broadcasters are also heavily impacted by illegal content sharing, as they also depend on their own original content to generate revenue, capture and retain their audiences. 

As technology continues to evolve, especially on the content distribution side, we see edge computing now being commonly used by CDN providers to ease network load.  Further, with the integration of tools such as NexGuard forensic watermarking into the edge environment, we see watermarking adoption expanding beyond the traditional movie theaters to become something much more mainstream, with major broadcasters following the path of PayTV and Telco operators in adopting watermarking solutions. But while watermarking can provide insight around content leaks the true power is realized when it is coupled with Anti-Piracy services.  Working together, these tools ensure that content investments are protected, and revenues can be realized.  By using forensic watermarking as part of a core service protection strategy, broadcasters can identify the source of leaks and build formidable intelligence on illicit leaks, that in turn allows them to identify and enable actionable business decisions.

As we see broader broadcaster adoption of watermarking to track down content leaks and illicit usage, the industry is starting to drive innovative strategies to protect its investments in the very thing that allows it to operate – content. Watermarking has a big role to play in the increasingly sophisticated pirate landscape and is a cost-effective and pragmatic way to track down leaks and provide valuable insight about piracy behavior, so content providers and producers can protect their content and services from piracy.

It’s therefore great to see KOBETA focusing on these points at their forthcoming summit.  Bringing together major Broadcasters and association, the event promises to really focus on the future of media and share different perspective on the key elements of media protection which watermarking has a key role to play.

To discuss the role forensic watermarking can play for broadcasters, you can download the video presented by my colleague Gabriel Cantin, Product Director discussing how adding forensic watermarking into existing workflows is straightforward and has no impact on performance or content quality; a quick addition that will enable broadcasters to immediately track any content leaks. 

To learn more about our solutions, why not read our latest Customer case study or schedule a meeting with me to continue the conversation!