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Harmonic strikes yet another DRM deal

Thu, 07/16/2009 - 8:25am
Brian Santo

Harmonic has integrated Audible Magic’s audio and video fingerprint creation tools with its Rhozet Carbon Coder universal media transcoding solution.

The combination is meant to simplify the process for copyright owners to register (at no cost) their content with Audible Magic. Once registered, copyright owners can quickly and easily begin protecting, tracking and monetizing their online content.

Harmonic has been working to go beyond simply handling content with its Rhozet transcoder; it is attempting to make its technology an integral element in digital rights management (DRM). To that end, the company has recently made a number of similar moves to support its ability to help content owners identify, track and monetize their content. 

In April, Harmonic cut a deal with Arbitron to integrate the latter’s content tracking capabilities into Rhozet. Also in April, Harmonic cut a deal with YouTube to help those who upload video to manage the rights to their video. In June, the company cut a deal with Vobile, which also has fingerprinting technology.

The jump from DRM, including the simple ability to identify and track content, to monetization is key to the appeal of fingerprinting technology, available from Audible Magic and others. Digital service providers that license online content can exploit the technology to increase advertising revenues and click-to-buy opportunities, thereby increasing royalties back to content owners.

"Video content owners have told us that they need a quick and efficient method for generating and registering fingerprints of their content," said Vance Ikezoye, co-founder and CEO of Audible Magic. "By integrating our fingerprint technology with Rhozet Carbon Coder, which has established a well-earned reputation for performance, we are able to provide a rapid and easy solution to meet their needs."

With the Arbitron deal, Carbon Coder software will be used in production pipelines to embed an inaudible code into the audio portion of entertainment and advertising content, Harmonic explained. This code can be detected by the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM). The PPM system uses a passive audience measurement device (about the size of a small cell phone) that can track consumer exposure to encoded media and entertainment, including broadcast, cable and satellite television; terrestrial, satellite and online radio; as well as many types of place-based audio media. Carried throughout the day by randomly selected survey participants, the PPM device can track when, where and how they are exposed to encoded media and entertainment, Harmonic said.

The YouTube deal is similar. Carbon Coder users can generate an ID file (a fingerprint) of the video content they own during the transcoding process, and then upload it to YouTube. The fingerprints will be recognized by YouTube’s Content ID System. Content owners can thus identify their content and apply usage policies, specifying how they want content to be handled by YouTube. The system supports monetization, track usage statistics or content blocking.

Among the companies using Carbon Coder are Ascent Media Group, British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB), Lifetime Networks, MTV, Yahoo and YouTube.

More Broadband Direct 07/16/09:
•  Rovi preps advanced guide for CE; service provider version to follow
•  Comcast launches mobile app for Apple's App Store
•  CMC, Motorola give NAS an EBIF makeover
•  Bright House set to launch Caller ID on PC in Ind.
•  SeaChange bows universal session resource manager
•  Harmonic strikes yet another DRM deal
•  A-L brings 100 GigE to the edge
•  JDSU wraps up purchase of Finisar's network tools division
•  FCC chair names Wireless Bureau staff
•  Google Voice quietly launches
•  AT&T, union reach tentative contract deal
•  Broadband Briefs for 07/16/09
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