Digital Watermarking & Fingerprinting Key When Monetising Digital Media

Marketing and business development services company MultiMedia Intelligence has issued a report stating that applications leveraging content identification technologies, such as digital watermarking and fingerprinting, are growing rapidly and could surpass US$500 million worldwide by 2012.

Key applications include Internet and broadcast content monitoring, metadata association, copyright control, content protection and forensics, and interactive advertising.

"Non-linear media distribution requires new enabling technologies, beyond traditional encryption-based digital rights management", according to Mark Kirstein, president of MultiMedia Intelligence. "The growth of peer-to-peer distribution, social networks, and content piracy is accelerating the need for watermarking and fingerprinting".

Digital watermarking will also compliment digital rights management (DRM) and conditional access technologies. Companies, such as Cinea, Philips and Verimatrix, are positioning transactional digital watermarking for integration into set-top boxes, to increase content traceability and security.

This goal is to convince content owners to support earlier release of high definition (HD) video assets for video-on-demand and enable incremental revenue for pay TV operators. Fox in the United States has indicated that it will mandate watermarking for early-release HD content.

The new MultiMedia Intelligence research also found that:

  • Content owners are continuing to pressure web properties and other network owners to police their content as a result of the proliferation of "user generated content" and social networks, coupled with users posting copyrighted media.
  • Fingerprinting and watermarking will play a pivotal role in broadband operators' developing plans to filter peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic on their networks to restrict copyrighted material that is being illegally distributed.
  • Greater processing capabilities in consumer electronics equipment is enabling low cost transactional digital watermarking in consumer electronics and mobile devices.
  • Digital watermarks will ultimately become a key enabler for tracking non-linear interactive advertising, supporting ad association, tracking and reporting.

The report is entitled "Beyond Traditional DRM: Moving to Digital Watermarking & Fingerprinting in Media Monetization".