Digital rights management (DRM) content encryption is a set of technology protection tools and measures that ensures video content is transmitted and stored in an encrypted form, so only authorized users and/or devices can play back the content. DRM content encryption is critical for content owners and operators, especially those in the media and entertainment industry, in order to restrict the unauthorized use of copyrighted content and proprietary hardware. DRM encryption technology is used to attempt to control the use, distribution, or modification of such copyrighted content.

How DRM Content Encryption Works

DRM content encryption is designed to keep unauthorized users from viewing content—plain and simple. Before video content is streamed, it must be encrypted and packaged, generally using a number of DRM schemes for more device compatibility. When a user or consumer attempts to play back a video, the video player acquires a key from a licensed server. The server determines the user and device authorization before releasing a license response with a decryption key. Then the video player can decrypt and play back content for the user and/or device. In simple terms, DRM involves encrypting content so that it cannot be read unless a decryption key is supplied by a third-party DRM platform—one that includes licensed servers.

DRM content encryption usually involves code that prohibits content copying and limits the number of devices in which a product can be accessed. The specific users, access level, and encryption activities can also be restricted. Content creators or copyright holders generally have the ability to:

  • Set rules for editing, saving, sharing, printing, forwarding, or taking screenshots
  • Set user expiration dates and limits on media
  • Set device-specific media access, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and geographic location access
  • Incorporate ownership/identity watermarks on documents and images

The Role of DRM in Media and Entertainment

The media and entertainment industry is clearly most impacted by unauthorized access and copyright infringement laws. If the industry does not take a firm stand, content may be stolen, modified and distributed for profit. The end results of such piracy may ultimately be unfavorable for vendors and consumers alike. DRM encryption technology is increasingly critical as digital content continues to spread via peer-to-peer file exchange on torrent sites (used for distributing files over the Internet), and through online piracy. DRM content encryption especially protects media and entertainment industry companies from cybersecurity challenges. The industry is most interested in protecting customer data, following compliancy guidelines, maintaining operational efficiency, and managing downtime. Overall, true DRM encryption technology is shown to be more secure via multiple business rules, which is especially valuable to the media and entertainment industry.

DRM content encryption allows musicians, moviemakers, and other content streamers to decipher and control what consumers can and cannot do with content. With DRM encryption technology, they protect all copyrighted material, safeguard their financial investments, protect associated artwork, and render it impossible for their digital content and media to be illegally stolen or shared. Essentially, the industry finds DRM encryption technology essential in protecting copyrights and intellectual property.

How Operators Maintain Premium Content with DRM Encryption

There are in fact varying levels and technical how-to aspects in using DRM for maximum encryption capability. Working with a third-party DRM provider is essential. There are three important touchpoints when engineers, developers and technology leaders are reviewing DRM encryption technology providers. Companies must: 1) acquire keys to encrypt content 2) obtain a license (decryption key) to play content, and 3) establish communication between a licensed server and a subscription server.

Many streaming and broadcasting production studios and other content producers are known to only share their content with proven operators that use reliable DRM encryption technology are part of their service offering. This is one of the methods used to keep valuable content from being stolen or pirated. It is important for operators to seek out reputable, true DRM encryption technology providers to protect their premium digital content.

Biometrics, or an inherence factor, verifies and confirms traits in a variety of ways and often uses readers and software to convert data digitally and then compare it depending on the application. Some factor verification methods include:

  • retina / iris scan
  • voice recognition
  • facial recognition
  • fingerprint scan
  • digital signature scanners
  • hand and earlobe geometry


These proven verification methods are popular for both consumers and business leaders alike in fighting the war on cybersecurity.