Service providers are losing $6 to $8 billion annually in revenue to piracy, according to ABI Research.
Video piracy – the copying and selling of copyrighted content – has been around since the advent of the VHS tape and home video recording in 1979. The firm said that video piracy has shifted from pirated set-top boxes to content redistribution over broadband networks, with the most common forms of piracy being illegal fully-loaded Kodi boxes, social network live streams, torrents of exclusive series or movies, web-based redistribution via file lockers, and password sharing.
“Content providers must shift their response to piracy from being device-oriented, such as traditional conditional access systems (CAS) and digital rights management (DRM), to comprehensive service-oriented approaches and modern tools against piracy,” said Sam Rosen, vice president at ABI Research.
The most important tools available include session-based watermarking, coupled with real-time piracy monitoring, the firm said; and, that monitoring should be focused on locating and identifying pirated content consumption and disruption of pirated content via terminating the source or disrupting the web services.
Other tools include managing password sharing and working with other content providers in a market to effectively drive law enforcement to respond to the threat of piracy.
In its Content Protection and Watermarking report, ABI Research estimates that nearly $400 million, or about 33% of revenue, in the DRM market will shift to service- or as-a-service (aaS) oriented revenues by 2022.
It also found that the video ecosystem shows significant investment in new types of content in which the dangers of piracy are greater than in the past. Investments in exclusive content, live sports, early release VOD and Ultra HD content create incentives where only specific platform providers in a market have access to the content. This may drive consumers to pirated content if the content is not on their preferred platform, or is perceived as too expensive.
ABI Research said that about 32% of pay-TV and OTT revenues will be associated with one of these types of high-value content by 2022.