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Always-On Security: Why is it important, especially in the production and post-production world?


If you take a moment to think about security, it's a part of our everyday routines. When I leave for work in the morning, I set my Simplisafe home alarm. I get out of the car, I click to activate my car alarm. I sit down to start the day, and I log in on the laptop by offering my secure credentials. I even check my credit card activity and score each month. In other words, security is always on.

You could apply that same thinking to high-value film and TV content which are vulnerable, both before and after its release date. And the good news is that there are exciting industry developments in the concept of always-on security, which deters unauthorized distribution and provides a level of accountability for anyone with access to that content at any point in its lifecycle.

During the recent NAB 2022 Event, Ken Gerstein, VP Sales, NAGRA Anti-Piracy & NexGuard, met with experts from Vision Media to unlock insights into the importance of always-on security . The session helped to reveal why there has never been a more critical time to secure high-value content assets during production and post-production.

Kicking off the conversation, Gerstein queried about the mindset and need for always-on security. Jason Deadrich, Vision Media CTO, and Michael Holmes, Vision Media Chief Growth Officer, provided context on the evolution of their company and related it to the broader industry.

Vision Media began as a physical media company, sending out promotional content to theaters and DVDs to screeners on behalf of its studio, TV, and film clients. Holmes articulated how the company transitioned from analog to the digital medium, with streaming content serving as a key business component.

Deadrich also noted that there had been a natural evolution from physical to digital. Even before the pandemic, key contacts such as award voting members were fatigued with receiving multiple stacks of DVDs from different vendors containing different types of content, which was just becoming a waste. In addition to the green aspects of going digital, there's also the security aspect. These physical DVDs sent to one individual for private consumption were then getting more broadly shared.

Then the global pandemic hit, reiterating the critical need for quality video content. Industry dynamics that were thought to be years away happened in the blink of an eye, with new business, production, and distribution models appearing. These new market dynamics made for a perfect storm where content became even more vulnerable to theft and leaks, paving the way for revenue loss and endangering creativity. And it was within this context that Vision Media and NAGRA began collaborative efforts to develop a secure streaming platform. The goal was to help studios distribute and protect some of their most expensive content assets that need to be shared pre-release before monetization even begins.

What critical security areas are you looking to meet, and what are the benefits?

Deadrich noted if you think about the difference between going from a physical medium to digital, there are benefits of having higher quality visual content when you think about streaming vs. a physical DVD. Now all the security also gets improved. It's no longer a disc that can sit on someones desk and go somewhere else. Always on security allows for:

The asset to be locked down to an individual user

Multi-factor authentication

The requirement of a native app on the users device to play the content

And most importantly, forensic watermarking, which is imperceptible and doesn't detract from the viewing experience

When considering technology partners, what are your consideration factors?

Deadrich noted that they're always looking for best of breed vendors to provide the best possible services. We don't want to introduce a brand-new vendor even if they might have superior technology without considering the learning curve and transition of understanding how to sell into this market. Holmes added, I think we saw this with our clients as well. NAGRA is a trusted brand, someone that knew the cutting-edge technologies so that when we share that with clients, there's a level of comfort there.

How would you summarize your partnership experience with NAGRA?

From the commercial side, Holmes noted that the partnership has been tremendous, especially as we've had the opportunity to work together and communicate the key attributes of our Always-on security solution. From the technology side, Deadrich noted that Vision Media is constantly looking at the build vs. buy thought process. Working with NAGRA on the Always-on security efforts has been tremendous, with NAGRA serving as a fantastic partner.

Want to learn more?

View the full interview to hear more insights and perspectives on the Vision Media - NAGRA collaboration.

Download the Always-On Security Ebook to learn more about the Vision Media - NAGRA collaborative solution, embraced by clients such as The Hollywood Reporter, that wraps that technology within a framework of trusted business services.
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