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For India’s Edtech & Media Platforms Video Piracy Points


Ever because the web revolution started in India, piracy has been a continuing companion. It started with software program piracy for the most recent Home windows working system and productiveness software program, then got here the digital media revolution, which meant MP3s and movies might be downloaded from shady web sites illegally, and what Napster started within the late 90s when it comes to peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, has now been taken over by torrents and piracy for motion pictures, TV exhibits and video games. 

Whereas efforts have been made to guard the multi-billion-dollar mental properties which have emerged from the leisure business since then, as of late a special form of piracy is hurting companies and tech startups. We’re speaking about pirated edtech classes and course movies downloaded illegally, together with OTT streaming content material being leaked to varied web boards. 

Vibhav Sinha and Siddhant Jain had been engineering college students at IIT Delhi 2015 , once they began noticing piracy was a difficulty affecting premium video based mostly companies. At that time, Sinha already had the expertise of working with cloud-based purposes and had the concept of mixing encryption with cloud-streamed video to deal with piracy.

Quickly him and Jain reached out to 2 well-known Indian edtech startups with a prototype product to forestall privateness. And it was whereas in dialog with these firms that the duo realised simply how massive the difficulty is, which later changed into their startup ‘VdoCipher’. Even earlier than Sinha and Jain had graduated from faculty, VdoCipher already had six paying prospects, Jain instructed Inc42, despite the fact that the corporate had not been included. 

“We formally incorporated the company post-college and raised an angel round led by Dr Malpani, Solidarity Advisors and five other angel investors in the start of 2016,” the cofounder added.

Making regular progress through the years, immediately, the startup claims to serve over 1K companies and about three Mn hours of content material monthly, from over 30 international locations.

Whereas on-line video piracy has been a difficulty across the globe since a very long time, with the pandemic this problem, has solely gotten worse. Based on knowledge revealed by MUSO, on-line movie piracy rose 62% in simply the final week of March as in comparison with the final week of February, this yr in India. This may majorly be attributed to the truth that the persons are compelled to remain of their houses, with nothing a lot to do. Whereas one other report by Irdeto revealed that $2.eight Bn of the annual income earned by the Indian media and leisure business is misplaced to piracy.

However media and leisure shouldn’t be solely the business stricken by the difficulty. One other business that has been fighting this problem is edtech. The business that has witnessed an unprecedented progress and rise within the Covid dominated eventualities, has additionally been the goal of piracy through the years.

Final yr, edtech firms reminiscent of Coursera and Udacity reported instances of builders and different professionals sharing paid content material from their websites amongst their peer networks and teams, permitting colleagues or pals to avail the programs without spending a dime. What makes it worse is that a lot of the elearning and edtech startups, when beginning off are unaware of this problem and the gravity of it.

 VdoCipher Looks To Make India's Edtech And Media Platforms Video Piracy-Resistant

Elaborating on the identical, Sarat Velumuri, cofounder and head of expertise at edtech and take a look at prep startup IndigoLearn stated, “When we started the company we had very little knowledge on protecting our assets and how to make it foolproof. So started by using services such as Vimeo, which was cheap and worked to some extent. We were with the platform for almost four or five months, post that we realised the intensity of the situation.”

Whereas initially the options of VdoCipher, whom Velumuri met at a convention, had been undoubtedly a  safer choice than Vimeo, there have been additional enhancements Indigolearn was on the lookout for. VdoCipher has enhanced the providing over time with extra security measures which helped IndigoLearn. 

The Journey And The Progress Of Countering Piracy Challenges

Claiming to supply ‘Hollywood grade security, refinement, and functionalities’ to its purchasers, Jain instructed Inc42 that VdoCipher makes use of the identical underlying encryption protocols which can be utilized by likes of Netflix and Hotstar to safe their content material. “We are a direct Google partner for the major encryption technology called Widevine DRM,” he elaborated.

Based on him, anti-piracy expertise was beforehand solely accessible for giant enterprises contemplating the price part and technical challenges in integration. “We are probably the first one globally, to have combined the highest security tech with an easy to use packaged offering of the video player and cloud hosting, allowing us to cater to any size of business. A single teacher owning a website to a large edtech platform with millions of users; everybody can have access to our secure product,” he boasted.

Although it focusses on sectors reminiscent of edtech and media and leisure, majority of the startup’s purchasers are on-line teaching institutes, edtech platforms, faculties and faculties. Based on Jain, since VdoCipher fees on the premise of bandwidth and storage, this is a bonus for rising companies seeking to scale up as they develop. “Primary costs for any business are on bandwidth which depends on how many viewers they have and how many videos they watch. It is a typical pricing model for any cloud video service,” he added.

The 2 key choices and worth propositions of the startup for its prospects are safety from video piracy — by way of DRM encryption, dynamic watermarking, display screen seize blocking (on sure platforms), and backend URL authentication — and a sensible video participant. It claims the participant can play on all gadgets, adapting to the consumer’s web pace. Moreover, it additionally gives an offline safe obtain plus playback choice in Android app, a requirement for the gradual web customers in India’s tier 2,three areas.

Elaborating on the profit from the startup, IndigoLearn’s Velumuri stated, “Their solution is end to end encrypted and they’re protected by DRM. These features, along with others,gave us more comfort. It has been almost two years now that we came to their platform and whenever we had any issues or requirements, they were able to help us figure it out.”

 VdoCipher Looks To Make India's Edtech And Media Platforms Video Piracy-Resistant

Contemplating the truth that nearly all of its purchasers are edtech platforms, the progress for the sector through the lockdown months has additional boosted VdoCipher’s progress. Whereas beforehand its main prospects had been edtech platforms, now it additionally has a number of faculties and faculties utilizing its product. 

Thus, it got here as no shock when Jain stated that its buyer base’s viewership grew 4% MoM earlier than Covid, immediately the expansion is round 10% MoM. “Interestingly for us, 60% of this growth has still come from customers outside India,” he added. 

It counts names reminiscent of TIME Teaching, CAclubIndia, a number of UPSC/Medical/Engineering take a look at prep platforms, Tricolor Productions and extra. Its different prospects are edtech platforms from Europe, Brazil and the Center East offering science, finance, advertising and coding tutorials.

Vidyakul, an elearning platform catering to state board and Tier 2 and three audiences, makes use of VdoCipher to host movies. Tarun Saini, founder and CEO, Vidyakul stated the anti-piracy tech is a boon for budding edtech startups.

“We spend a lot of time and energy helping students connect with the teachers that they know and love. Bringing in renowned teachers from schools to our platform, which further helps us gain the student’s trust. When there is piracy of our content not only do we lose our audience but even the teacher who has worked so hard on it. Using VdoCipher was thus a necessity that has given us assurity of the safety of our content,” stated Vidyakul’s Saini.

For VdoCipher, its rivals are largely from the US markets together with the likes of Vimeo, Brightcove and extra, however even then it claims that what units it aside are the options reminiscent of DRM encryption, watermarking applied sciences and simply reasonably priced integrations. It really works with AWS Cloud infrastructure together with their storage and world CDN. “We use over 100 CDN edge locations across the globe, helping us serve viewers from all six continents,” added Jain.

VdoCipher’s Piracy-Free Imaginative and prescient

“We currently have four business partners in India and abroad who provide an edtech business with website and app solutions (LMS), while we take care of the video playback and security needs. We are exploring more such partnerships to strengthen our operations and services,” VdoCipher cofounder Siddhant Jain.

It’s estimated that by the top of 2020, India’s month-to-month energetic web consumer base will attain 639 Mn, from the present estimation of 574 Mn. With a 45% progress within the web penetration in 2019, in comparison with city counterparts 11%, rural India appears to be driving this progress. 

With extra customers, the specter of piracy will increase, particularly with adoption from rural India, the place the spending energy can be decrease in comparison with city India. VdoCipher, nonetheless, shouldn’t be too involved about this. Whereas piracy will at all times stay a difficulty, the startup feels that it’s able to pivoting, updating and tweaking its options to counter all of the considerations that the business may carry.

When requested concerning the future plans of the startup, Jain was optimistic about reaching extra prospects from India, Europe and the USA.

Jain stated, “Interactivity and audience engagement is still a gap in the video content industry. We are also looking to launch an interactive video player to bridge this. Also, in the current scenarios we have seen live streaming tools by likes of Zoom and Google skyrocket. Security, monetisation tools built over such live streaming tools is a domain opportunity we feel is very wide open.”




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