Digital watermarking technology finds usage up in US

MUMBAI:The Digital Watermarking Alliance (DWA) has announced that several of its members in the US have seen increased adoption and commercialisation of their digital watermarking technology and solutions in the first half of 2012.

Members of the DWA continue to innovate with digital watermarking to help create new digital entertainment experiences for consumers around the globe and a more secured, manageable and viable media ecosystem for rights holders.

Digital watermarking is the process by which identifying data is woven into media content, giving it a unique, digital identity.

Every day billions of people read magazines, listen to music, watch television, purchase movies on demand and use portable devices. The use of digital watermarking technology is making these entertainment experiences more secure, interactive and fulfilling than ever before.

GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies president Bill Rosenblatt said, “It is exciting to see digital watermarking technology blossom over the last few years into such a wide variety of applications. It is now used routinely as a complement to encryption for protecting high-value content. But it’s also used in various ways to enrich content’s value, both to users and to content distributors.”

Second-Screen Entertainment

The media industry in the US is experiencing a period of change with a clear shift in consumer viewing habits. A recent report from Nielsen found that 88 per cent of people who own tablets and 86 per cent of those with smartphones in the US have used their devices at least once while watching television in the month of May 2012.

Civolution through its SyncNow Automatic Content Recognition (ACR), brings second-screen experiences to a whole new level. Using audio digital watermarking the SyncNow - 2nd screen solution enables identification and synchronisation between (live) broadcast, on-demand or recorded television content. It allows for exciting interactive applications on companion devices (tablets, smart phones, laptops) to present compelling synchronised user experiences such as polling, voting, targeted advertising, direct purchases, etc., and has been deployed to sync apps to several international show formats.

Digital Watermarks & VoD:
According to recent data from Infonetics, the global video infrastructure market grew by six per cent in 2011 to $803 million Additional research from the NPD Group shows that the current video-on-demand (VOD) market is ruled by Pay-TV services with revenues reaching $1.3 billion in 2011; in fact, 15 per cent of US consumers ages 13 and older used pay-TV VOD movie services from a cable, satellite, or fiber-optic provider in the 12 months ending August 2011, which translates to 40 million users.

As mandated by Hollywood studios for offering movies in an early-release window, operators need to integrate transactional digital watermarking protection into their VOD workflow and network infrastructure, which allows for forensic tracking to the source of potentially illegal copies. Contributors to growth in this market are Verimatrix and Civolution.

Verimatrix’s StreamMark server-side forensic watermarking solution has been fully integrated with VoD server equipment from leading vendors ready for commercial real-time stream by stream payload insertion.

The end-to-end StreamMark solution has been deployed with US cable operators for early-release VoD trials, which are part of a trend that will open up new revenue opportunities and provide key service differentiation in the market. StreamMark can be deployed as a standalone component to an existing cable network infrastructure or as an integrated part of a complete Verimatrix revenue security solution.

SeaChange and Civolution recently announced they have created a joint solution that, for the first time, enables cable operators to offer premium VOD content to their subscribers. In order to do this, SeaChange integrated Civolution’s newest NexGuard watermark preprocessor and smart-embedder software into its intelligent video software platform. The solution has been deployed by a large North American cable operator.

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