There has never been a better time for TV entertainment. According to most predictions, content for TV is only going to boom from Hollywood to Bollywood. However, despite the success of the media and entertainment industry (M&E), there is the persistent and menacing trouble of online pirates who illegally access content and distribute them via direct downloads from websites, torrents sites, and streaming services. IPTV piracy isn’t a new phenomenon, but with the production in mass of premium content such as 4K, HD with HDR and with new business models for online content distribution (over-the-top streaming, early window release), its market share has started to threaten the revenue of legal pay TV operators. Data from SimilarWeb shows that the top 100 illegal IPTV supplier websites get more than 16 million visits per month. What makes the new breed of pirates especially threatening is that they have made IPTV piracy user-friendly and easier to access. They have established a bold and savvy business model that directly and openly competes with legal pay TV operators. They package illegal streams and serve them to consumers on more than 100 channels and some even stream more than a 1000 channels through their illegal platforms.
They claim to provide customer support and offer high-quality content such as HD channels at staggeringly lower prices compared to their legal counterparts. Complemented with effective marketing campaigns via social media ads, professional websites, and legitimate packaging with settop box devices powered by Android, Linux and Roku among others, it leads consumers into thinking that these are legal services. leak occurred. This information can then be used to stop the distribution of content to compromised devices or infringing users and to take legal action when appropriate. The content industry is making much effort to ensure premium content is protected end-to-end and therefore to ensure it can be monetised. The publication of the MovieLabs Specification for Enhanced Content Protection document sets a new standard for security that has been reflected on content distribution agreements worldwide. Manufacturers of DVD players, laptops, and TVs are bringing to the market more robust implementations leveraging devices’ hardware capabilities. This is seen as a competitive advantage as compliance with requirements enables devices to receive and consume premium content such as HD, HD with HDR (high dynamic range) and 4K. However, sophisticated technology alone is not enough. Content owners and distributors need to reinforce their protection through legal action against IPTV pirates.
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