True Cost of Multi-DRM for OTT Services

Video service providers that opt to build their own digital rights management (DRM) platforms for multi-screen services can expect to spend a minimum of $1.5 million per year, Frost & Sullivan analyst Avni Rambhia said last week during a webinar hosted by Verimatrix.


Rambhia noted that upfront costs for service providers that develop in-house DRM solutions range from $100,000 to $250,000 per platform, and that it will cost $50,000 per year to upgrade and test video players.

“If you needed to support the major DRMs, then your first or second year costs will be significantly higher,” added Rambhia.

Verimatrix VP of Product Management Tom Pollard and Divitel Team Leader Jeroen Kok who joined Rambhia on the webinar, told attendees that commercial DRM solutions could also give service providers a competitive edge over other pay TV service providers.


“A substandard DRM system is going to result in lower content licensing rights, and a premium solution will allow for the distribution of the top content – ultra high definition, HDR [high dynamic range], 4K content. That ties in directly to the bottom line of the operator,” Pollard said.

Rambhia said that three out of four service providers that develop in-house DRM solutions will focus initially on Apple’s iOS platform, followed by a few Android devices. Those providers “then very quickly switch to a commercial multi-DRM system so they don’t have to deal with that in house,” Rambhia said.

To access a recording and slide presentation accompanying the webinar, titled, “DRM Is Not Free: The True Cost of DRM,” Click here.