Olga Kornienko, COO & Co-Founder, EZDRM, sits down with Tim Siglin, Founding Executive Director, Help Me Stream Research Foundation, and Contributor Editor, Streaming Media for a chat about the current state of DRM technology and the unique ways her company has contributed to the field.
Tim kicks off the conversation by highlighting that EZDRM was one of the 2022 Readers Choice Awards winners. (In the DRM/Content Protection category). “Why that’s so important is it says that people in the industry who use DRM (Digital Rights Management) have chosen EZDRM as the top DRM provider in the industry. Olga, this is one of many awards for you, right?” he asks.
“No, this is actually the first one,” Kornienko says.
“Well, congratulations!” Siglin says. “You know, DRM, it’s not very sexy. It’s kind of like metadata. I mean, everybody has to have it, but nobody really sort of goes to the point where they know all the knowledge on it, which is why they come to providers like you. And what is it that you provide to those companies who want to protect their content?”
“Well, the first thing we provide is knowledge and an understanding of the technology,” Kornienko says. “The technology itself has been covered in a shroud of mystery. And we try to understand our customers because we believe that if you understand the technology, you are a lot more comfortable using it. And we’ve set up our system to be an API forward infrastructure, where it’s only two APIs, and we allow our customers to set up using our keys API on the encoding side, and the rights API on the playback side. We also give our customers a chance to test out our system free of charge, because we believe that we have a really good product that stands on its own. And if a potential customer wants to come and play with the system…test it, hack it…crash it, whatever you want to do to it, we’re very open to having you play with it and be very, very comfortable with it before you actually commit to something.”
“We are also cloud-based,” she continues. “We are in multiple clouds. That allows our customers to actually have a higher Service Level Agreement (SLA) than just an uptime guarantee [of] four nines. Because if you’re in one cloud, AWS or Google or Rackspace…if they have a guarantee of four nines, we can’t give you more than that. But once you expand to multiple clouds, you can go to five nines and that is a much more comfortable place to be.”
“Do you provide solutions to live and on-demand?” Siglin asks.
“To us, a piece of content is a piece of content,” Kornienko says. “They have their own values…depending on which world you’re coming from. We have been battling a lot of, I don’t want to call it — misinformation, but a lot of misconceptions in the industry that live events are only valuable when they’re live. But with that said, if the content is hacked or it’s pirated, or if somebody starts to stream a pirated version of the content and the actual broadcaster, the one that negotiated the rights, the one that set up all the crazy infrastructure and has every redundancy – and everything else in the world set up for this broadcast – loses the client and the viewer eyeballs off of this broadcast, then you can’t get it back. You have a two-hour window or three-hour window depending on [a] concert or sporting event, to get those eyes back. And it is much harder to do that in such a short amount of time.”
“So that’s actually an interesting point,” Siglin says. “Even if it’s an on-demand piece of content later, the production cost…means that you’re looking to retain the revenues that come off of it. Now, I think the last time we were together here at West you had a little sticker of your dog, and you mentioned before we went on the air that people actually remember that, but you also at IBC were handing out shirts and it had sort of a Rube Goldberg contraption on it. I’m assuming DRM is not quite as complicated as that whole path across the front of that shirt!”
Kornienko emphatically says no. “Basically what we are trying to do is to simplify that whole process,” she says. “And as wonderful and as fun as that whole…I think it’s a 10-step Rube Goldberg that we have on that shirt…the idea is to press play and have everything happen seamlessly…with very, very, very low latency, just to be completely invisible to the user. As long as I actually take the approach that if customers and end users don’t know that we exist, that’s probably the best place to be.”
Learn more about DRM at Streaming Media East 2023.
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