For video watermarking must be imperceptible as well as indelible
MediaSilo, a Boston based video sharing platform, has launched an on-demand watermarking package for tracing sources of content across the supply chain. Called SafeStream, the package has been designed to trace content leaks at all stages of the production process, from pre-release to distribution.
It works by injecting information specific to the user at any given stage of distribution within seconds so that any breach or unauthorized distribution can be identified quickly at any stage and not just after final distribution.
“By adding user-specific information into a stream, you introduce accountability into the supply chain,” said Kai Pradel, CEO and founder of MediaSilo. “Whether cuts are sent for legal review, for dubbing, or executive viewing, each copy is unique and can be traced back to a specific user. This keeps honest people honest and prevents unauthorized sharing of content.”
According to the company SafeStream differs from conventional watermarking in three main key ways. Firstly it is quick and ubiquitous, capable of instilling watermarks within a few seconds into most content from short clips to feature length movies. Conventional watermarking can often take as long as the playback duration of a file, which makes it impractical for most workflows that depend on quick turnaround times, although there are now several products that are also fast. Secondly SafeStream enables cross-platform security and works out of the box on both mobile devices and in web browsers, which MediaSilo argues sets it apart say from DRM tools, which require proprietary player software. Thirdly SafeStream provides a visual deterrent that clearly identifies users by their name, email, subscriber ID or IP address. Various options exist to customize the watermark placement, duration and look.
MediaSilo indicates that SafeStream can be implemented as a stand-alone package seamlessly into existing workflows, such as media management systems, screening rooms or Apple TV Channels. It is also available as part of MediaSilo’s collaboration and media management platform.
Among early customers for SafeStream is Hulu, the online video services available only in the US and Japan. “Whether we want to distribute screeners to a select few or thousands, MediaSilo makes it possible for us to have screeners available at a moment's notice," said Ryan Snowden, manager, originals operations at Hulu.
Another customer is UK commercial broadcaster ITV for its worldwide content distributor ITV Studios Global Entertainment, for which the watermarking will help reassure its producers that their content has additional visual deterrents, according to Rod Carter, SVP of global operations and supply chain. “We’re looking forward to incorporating SafeStream into our process for previewing pre-release content to potential licensees,” said Carter.
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