While cross-border travel has been massively constrained over the past year, consumers have been busy paying virtual visits instead – using VPNs and DNS proxies to spoof their location and watch content illegally. The lure of earlier release dates and lower prices is just too much of a temptation for a growing band of consumers.
At first glance this might seem like a victimless crime, but it certainly is not. Simply stated, geo-piracy threatens the entire streaming video industry and all the people who make their living through the revenues generated by exclusive territorial content licensing. By circumventing the territorial restrictions placed on content, consumers are seriously undermining the business model relied upon by studios, sports leagues and other content producers.
Breaking Contracts Jeopardize Content Value
By ignoring this rampant form of content leakage, broadcasters and OTT providers are not only breaking their contractual obligations with rights holders but potentially jeopardizing future distribution rights deals. If left unchecked, the value of content will decline as competition for rights diminishes, resulting in reduced revenues for rights owners and ultimately lower investment in new productions.
Viewing pirated content also displaces legitimate viewing. According to a survey conducted by the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law, when it came to watching blockbuster movies, the displacement rate was 0.46, meaning that for every 10 pirated views, 4 to 5 legitimate views were lost.
Geo-Piracy is Big business
According to GlobalWebIndex, VPNs are used regularly by 31% of online users – and accessing better entertainment content is the main reason they do it. It’s such a big business that general consumer media like TechRadar blatantly write about which VPNs are best for unblocking geo-restricted content and how many streaming services seem to turn a blind eye. The result? More people feel it’s OK to do it.
A Bright Idea – Enhanced Proxy Detection
Fortunately there’s an easy way to prevent a race to the bottom in content rights values and fulfill contractual obligations.
Our partner Akamai offers Enhanced Proxy Detection, which fully integrates our Hollywood studio-approved GeoGuard VPN and DNS proxy detection solution with their industry-leading Content Delivery Network (CDN). In a nutshell, Enhanced Proxy Detection works by checking the GeoGuard database to determine whether a requesting IP address is associated with a VPN service or an anonymous proxy. This allows Akamai customers to detect and take prompt action against viewers who are spoofing their location to engage in geo-location fraud.
Take It For a Spin
Part of Akamai’s Adaptive Media Delivery solution, their Enhanced Proxy Detection offers a simple way for broadcasters and OTT providers to easily “turn on” VPN and Proxy detection and enable geographical restrictions on content. And Akamai is offering a free trial for anyone wanting to take it for a spin.
Similarly, GeoGuard DB is also integrated with Amazon’s AWS CloudFront, providing the same functionality but via Amazon’s CDN offering. We can also make the solution available via the CDN of your choice, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Tackling geo-piracy and meeting contractual obligations has never been easier! Here’s your light bulb moment, it’s just like flipping on a light switch.