Friend MTS launched a 4K/UHD variant of its ASiD subscriber level watermarking service last month, with the aim of protecting premium content from streaming piracy sourced from set-top boxes and OTT players. “With the continuing growth in 4K/UHD channels, typically driven by sports and premium entertainment, there is a pressing need to secure this content against streaming piracy, Neil Sharpe, Product Marketing Director at the company, said.
Friend MTS provides the ASiD global channel monitoring capability, which uses fingerprint-based content recognition to identify broadcasters’ assets in seconds. This monitoring connects tightly with invisible watermarking extraction to precisely identify subscribers who are responsible for streaming piracy. The ASiD service is highly customisable, and protects premium assets ranging from live sports to on-demand entertainment. It is also highly automated so can scale for the largest live sports events, which can generate thousands of pirate streams, Friend MTS notes.
“By connecting directly with pay TV operators’ subscriber management systems, ASiD allows thousands of pirate streams to be deactivated within minutes,” the solution provider adds. “By preventing content theft, broadcasters and rights owners can maximise their audiences and revenues.”
Neil Sharpe adds: “Live sports is the toughest content genre to protect, due to the scale of the streaming piracy threat and the time dependence of the assets [i.e. you must act fast because the value of the content is directly associated with its immediacy – shutting down an illegal football stream has limited value if you manage it in the last minute of the game]. ASiD watermarking is optimised for this environment and it also delivers the outstanding consumer experience sought by sports rights holders and movie studios.”