Announcing PhotonIQ: The New AI CDN For Accelerating Apps, APIs, Websites and Services
Log inTalk to an expert

Stopping Illegal Streaming with DRM

As a streaming platform like Hulu or Netflix, protecting your content from illegal streaming is of utmost importance. This article delves into the concept of illegal streaming or also known as streaming piracy, its potential impact on your business, and outlines effective strategies to prevent and combat it using robust Digital Rights Management (DRM) techniques.

Understanding illegal streaming

Illegal streaming refers to the unauthorized distribution and streaming of copyrighted content without obtaining the necessary licenses or rights from the content owners. It involves the dissemination of movies, TV shows, sports events, and other copyrighted materials through unauthorized channels, platforms, or websites, resulting in revenue loss and potential brand reputation damage.

The risks and implications for streaming platforms

  1. Revenue Loss: Illegal streaming significantly impacts your revenue streams. Unlicensed distribution diverts viewership from legitimate channels, reducing subscriber numbers, and diminishing potential advertising opportunities.
  2. Content Devaluation: The availability of unauthorized streams undermines the perceived value of your content. When users have free or cheaper alternatives, they may be less inclined to subscribe to your platform or engage with authorized content.
  3. Legal Consequences: Engaging in or facilitating illegal streaming can expose your platform to legal consequences. Copyright holders actively pursue legal action against platforms associated with unauthorized distribution, leading to lawsuits, penalties, and potential damage to your brand reputation.

Effective DRM strategies to thwart illegal streaming

  1. Robust encryption: Implement strong encryption technologies to protect your content from unauthorized access and distribution. Utilize industry-standard encryption protocols to prevent content interception or unauthorized copying during transmission and storage.
  2. Secure player technologies: Utilize secure video players that enforce DRM protocols and prevent unauthorized access or tampering. Implement secure playback mechanisms to ensure that content can only be consumed through authorized players and devices.
  3. Watermarking and forensic tracking: Embed visible or invisible watermarks within your content to deter piracy and track the source of unauthorized streams. Forensic tracking technologies enable the identification of specific copies or users responsible for unauthorized distribution.
  4. License management and access controls: Employ comprehensive license management systems to control access to your content. Implement user authentication mechanisms, device limitations, and geo-restrictions to ensure that only authorized users can access content based on licensing agreements.
  5. Content monitoring and takedown: Utilize advanced content recognition technologies to monitor the internet for unauthorized streams of your content. Employ automated processes and manual reviews to identify infringing streams and promptly issue takedown requests to the hosting platforms or Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
  6. Anti-Piracy Collaboration: Establish partnerships with industry organizations, copyright protection agencies, and anti-piracy services. Collaborate with these entities to enhance monitoring capabilities, receive actionable intelligence, and initiate legal actions against infringing parties.


Combating illegal streaming is vital for streaming platforms like Hulu or Netflix to protect their content, revenue, and brand reputation. By employing robust DRM strategies, including encryption, secure player technologies, watermarking, license management, content monitoring, and anti-piracy collaboration, you can effectively prevent and deter illegal streaming activities. These measures reinforce the integrity of your platform, promote respect for intellectual property rights, and ensure a sustainable business model in the ever-evolving digital streaming landscape.

Learn more about Macrometa's ready to go OTT Video Streaming solutions that simplify digital rights management, or chat with a solutions expert.

Related reading:

OTT Streaming Services Technology

Next Generation OTT Video Services: Ad Cohort Mapping And More

What is Data Enrichment for Advertising?

What are Ad Cohorts?

Advanced Digital Rights Management For OTT Video Streaming Services