In recent posts, we’ve laid out a compelling case for partnering with multi-DRM service pros to implement an over-the-top (OTT) content security platform, rather than building your own. Clearly, there are both substantial CAPEX and OPEX costs associated with the staffing requirements for the build-it-yourself option – starting with the initial build process, continuing through ongoing day-to-day operations, and including all future platform maintenance and support. And, of course, there are significant CAPEX outlays related to equipment, software, hosting, and DRM-related licensing costs. However, beyond these costs, there are additional factors that contribute to the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a cloud-based multi-DRM service. Ultimately, a buy vs. build decision comes down to TCO, and building your own service pushes those costs significantly higher than buying.
The power of a cloud-based DRM service
When choosing to subscribe to a cloud-based multi-DRM service, all costs related to platform construction and ongoing operations are incorporated into the basic service fees of the provider, delivering 24/7 expertise without long-term CAPEX expenditures on your books. This “buy” decision makes deployment easy and affordable.
Scalability lowers your risk and expands your reach
In the buy scenario, a pay-as-you-go business model scales up or down effortlessly based on your business needs with no risk or cost of over provisioning, or the fear of enduring the sudden budget hits that occur when best-case assumptions turn out to be off the mark. If you were to build your own security platform, it would need to be pre-provisioned to cater for the maximum number of expected concurrent users – a number that can easily be miscalculated – incurring and wasting the cost of spare capacity during non-peak periods, and risking an under-provisioned platform when usage peaks, resulting in a poor user experience.
When subscribing to a multi-DRM service, you can also achieve global reach with robust, highly scalable usage rates for live and on-demand content through tight integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS). With deployment at multiple AWS facilities within each region, the Intertrust multi-DRM service leverages the cloud computing system’s ability to automatically route requests for fastest action per session with automatic failover across all regions.
Shorten your time to market
While CAPEX and OPEX expenditures are obviously important, time IS money and time to launch can be crucial. Taking advantage of a flexible business model with a “buy” solution gives you the ability to quickly and easily meet the needs of your subscribers with rapid initial deployment and simple upgrades to stay ahead of rapidly changing technology and external threats. Conversely, building your own cloud-based multi-DRM service will lengthen the time it takes to ensure your content is fully protected.
Maximize value with economies of scale
If you build your own multi-DRM solution, all costs are on you, whether on-premises or in the cloud. Economies of scale when buying from an established security provider enable better service at a lower price point, as the infrastructure costs are amortized over a large number of customers around the globe. You don’t carry the burden alone, and you have the added value of payments that are closely tied to your pace of service usage and expansion.
In the case of Intertrust, the ExpressPlay DRMTM service supports an average of 500 million viewers consuming six billion hours of programming monthly at a rate of up to 50,000 transactions per second per operator across several continents. You gain this level of reach and expertise without the liability.
The best choice for multi-DRM services
All in, the TCO for an in-house multi-DRM platform significantly exceeds that of a security solution bought from an expert partner. As a supplier of DRM services, of course we are biased, but we also want happy customers and work hard to make sure that any TCO assessment accurately accounts for the clear benefits to our end users.
Whether you’re deploying a greenfield multi-DRM service or re-evaluating your home-grown or legacy security solution, given the regular and rapid changes in the OTT streaming industry, a new and careful evaluation makes sense regardless of the level of experience your company and team might have in the online video business.
About Ali Hodjat
Ali Hodjat is the VP Marketing for Intertrust ExpressPlay. He has extensive experience in leading product management and product marketing activities in the fields of content protection and pay-TV security, anti-piracy, and IoT security solutions.