Unprecedented Changes: Disruptive Technologies, Global Giants and Cybercrime

Irdeto recently launched its annual predictions looking at the content delivery and security trends in media and entertainment for 2018. The new e-book, Disruptive Technologies, Consolidation and Cybersecurity: 2018 Trends in the Connected World, features expert commentary from multiple Irdeto and industry thought leaders.

Topics include the growing competition from OTT for both rights and viewers, the continuing battle against piracy, innovation in IP video and 4K UHD, Android TV, Artificial Intelligence potential, watermarking becoming mandated by content owners, eSports and local content investments.

“The evolution of the media and entertainment industry has continued at pace over the last year and we are getting to a point where the landscape will be unrecognisable from just five years ago,” said Doug Lowther, CEO, Irdeto.

“Much of this evolution has been driven by technology innovation, giants from other sectors entering this space, and ecosystem fragmentation. Alongside the myriad of challenges brought up by this rapid evolution, the media and entertainment industry also faces the constant spectre of cybercrime and piracy, a threat which continues to grow. Evolving in tandem with consumer habits while protecting content investments will be crucial to ensure the continued strength of the industry.”

The e-book will provide deeper insights and predictions around the following trends in the media and entertainment industry:

  • Competition Increases from Both Legal and Illegal Entities: Illegal pirate services often provide an experience that fools consumers into believing they are legitimate. Pay TV operators are facing potential subscriber churn to cheaper illegal services as a result. 2018 is the year when the industry will finally start viewing the pirates as competitors. However, competition will also increasingly come from legitimate content providers and concern among operators will increase around the power of the big four technology companies, as they further extend their content and entertainment presences.
  • Disintermediation of the Value Chain: Content creators are feeling the pressure and are to some extent positioning themselves as platforms. This requires strong brand recognition and superior content. We’re going to see major studios take more and more ownership of their content and become distributors, impacting the middle man. This will contribute to consolidation in the OTT space as the challenge for newer and smaller players becomes, can they attract enough viewers? In 2018, mergers also seem logical to create entities strong enough to go direct to consumers.
  • Letting go of old ways to make room for giant leaps: For operators, competing against internet-based companies entering the media industry has been tough. Android TV has emerged in the past couple of years as a promising platform for operators to leap ahead, albeit from a surprising ally – Google. 2018 is likely to be a pivotal year for operators who are ready to move away from traditional middleware and gain an equal footing as internet-based competitors by embracing Android TV. It will also be the year that all players across the ecosystem recognise the need to leverage the power of IP networks compared to traditional broadcast networks, from a delivery optimisation perspective.
  • The Impact of AI, Blockchain and 5G on Piracy: This coming year will see content owners and rights holders push themselves even harder to battle piracy, with the emergence of AI. Meanwhile Blockchain and the advent of 5G have the potential for both positive and negative impacts on the media and entertainment industry. There is potential for pirates to exploit Blockchain to accelerate content redistribution, but there are also opportunities in blockchain for content owners and rights holders, particularly around the characteristics of cryptocurrency, immutability, tracking of ownership and smart contracts. Meanwhile the increased data connectivity allowed by 5G will accelerate OTT uptake, but could also make it easier for the distribution and consumption of pirate content.
  • Watermarking and Legislation – The Piracy Battle Intensifies: As the fight against piracy continues, watermarking is a technology that is becoming increasingly crucial and next year will see sports rights owners in particular increasingly mandating watermarking in their licensing contracts. 2018 is also likely to see movement in the legislative agenda and we may see ISPs being required to act quicker against illegal content.
  • eSports and Local Content Investments to Increase: Local content will come to the fore in 2018, and increased investment will be partly driven by the continuing expansion of global OTT services as they look to gain the edge in local markets. In addition, investment in eSports will increase. Juniper Research predicts that consumption of eSports and streamed games will drive USD3.5 billion in revenue by 2021. It is important to continually monitor the digital landscape to understand and identify where new or emerging threats might be prevalent and with this anticipated growth, 2018 may see new threats arrive in eSports.

To view the full e-book head here.

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