Pay TV Services are quickly migrating from managed service offerings running in on-network environments to include a variety of over the top (OTT) offerings. Some service providers are starting to shift responsibility for delivering the video assets (especially non-linear VOD assets) to content producers from the service provider themselves. In addition, the effort to give consumers access to video on all devices continues at different paces in different markets. In some markets this is table stakes for offering a compelling service, while other markets are slowly moving through acceptance of the need for multiscreen services. Video middleware and content protection markets must evolve with service provider needs. Key areas of thrust remain implementing search, recomendation and discovery systems which enable unification of live/linear and VOD services and upselling consumers to transactional content (including early release VOD titles), improving the quality of multiscreen services through both content licensing agreements as well as developing application frameworks which match the bar for UI set by multiscreen services such as Netflix and Vudu, and setting the groundwork for UltraHD content and experiences while penetration remains limited to early adopters.
This competitive assessment looks at three markets: Middleware, Conditional Access and Digital Rights Management. In the middleware market we rank those providers that typically compete by providing a nearly complete middleware solution. Other vendors, such as SeaChange or Technicolor, promote middleware offerings but customer implementations typically rely on them for a limited subset of the offering, or in conjunction with hardware. We define Conditional Access as providing content protection to set-top box devices as well as to entire service provider systems. The DRM market generally is more focused on device security and OTT services. While the lines are rapidly blurring - especially with more CA vendors offering multi-DRM solutions to protect pure-play or operator-launched OTT services while integrating multiple DRM solutions - we continue to separate the two. Further, while many vendors can be seen as providing solutions in both markets (i.e. CA vendor's native DRM products including Nagra PRM, Cisco VideoGuard, etc), we consider this as an element of the CA vendor solutions rather than a standalone DRM solution.