BIGFlix.com Protects Fare With BuyDRM Solution

BIGFlix.com recently deployed BuyDRM's digital rights management technology to enable superior content protection and a seamless video download experience.

Pooja Gautam September 02, 2009 12:30:13 IST
BIGFlix.com Protects Fare With BuyDRM Solution

How would a movie buff describe heaven? Well, if the individual was allowed an experience where he/ she could download multiple movies, while watching one of them without any sort of distraction, it would come close to heaven. BIGFlix and BuyDRM have come together to create such a heaven for Indian movie buffs and the companies’ content partners. A part of BIGFlix.com, www.broadband.bigflix.com recently entered into an agreement with BuyDRM, a provider of digital rights management technology, for deployment of the latter’s KeyOS Rights Management Platform, to enable superior content protection and a seamless video download experience.

Nuances of online content distribution

BIGFlix.com is an online distribution platform for content owners by either streaming online or by way of secure file download. BIGFlix.com Video-on-Demand platform today offers over 1,500 full-length feature films across 14 languages, including Indian and foreign movies. Apart from films, BIGFlix Video-on-Demand hosts hundreds of Indian television shows, music videos and scores of short-format videos such as movie trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, celebrity news and gossip.

"Seamless integration of the content delivery service with the digital rights management solution is the key to successful distribution of rights-managed content," says Sanjeev Singhal, CTO, BIGFlix.com. The streaming version features in-stream video advertisements that are loaded dynamically by their play out servers. The movies available for streaming can be viewed at no cost and do not require registration. In comparison, the download version of a movie is available at a price and requires registration.

Subsequent to the free registration, the movie purchased by the buyer is delivered securely through a video download application called the BIGFlix Download Manager. This Download Manager ensures the integrity of the video file while it is being transferred from BIGFlix’s content delivery network (CDN) to the user’s computer.

Additionally, its smart functionality of 'Download Queueing' empowers the buyer to begin downloading multiple movies, simultaneously. "This is particularly useful when a user has purchased many movies at one go and wants to commence their download immediately. It also supports progressive download, wherein it allows the user to begin viewing a specific purchased movie, while the same movie file and or/ other movie files are being downloaded silently in the background," adds Singhal.

Having said that, Singhal also adds that the tools and techniques they have used for digital rights management and geo-restriction are designed more for the benefit of their content partners than for their end-consumers.

Challenges of content protection and technology to the rescue

So what was it that attracted BIGFlix to BuyDRM and brought about this partnership? "It was BuyDRM's skill in building a robust, competitively-priced content protection solution using Microsoft’s proven Windows Media Rights Management technology that suited our requirement," says Singhal.

Talking about the investment, Singhal says that the pricing of BuyDRM’s content protection solution is constituted of two parts. The first part is the one-time setup cost for systems integration and the second part is the recurrent variable cost. "In other words, the latter will decrease with an increase in the number of downloads (or delivered licences). Thus, this pricing model, based on the economies of scale, is naturally expected to maximise our RoI," says Singhal.

'It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult,' said Seneca, a Roman philosopher. So what are the difficulties that BIGFlix thinks it will face after the deployment? "The challenges actually lie at the content owners’ end and their apprehension stems from the threat of content piracy. There are no challenges from the standpoint of deploying the latest and the best content protection schemes. However, it is important that content owners begin viewing digital distribution from a different perspective than the traditional one. This requires an attitudinal shift. We believe there is only one way to make this happen – by continuously demonstrating deployment of superior technology and raising the bar with each and every such attempt," says Singhal.

He further adds that in the Indian context, high-speed connectivity at the last mile is waiting to happen. Emergence of next-generation networks, their affordability and adoption by end-users will promote the growth of this industry. Laws and regulations, pertaining to content distribution to networked devices, are yet to achieve maximum clarity among content owners as well as publishers or aggregators.

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