IBC 2017: Shake-up in conditional access market | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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Research from IHS Markit has found that 2016 was a pivotal year for the content security industry, with competitive realignment and a surprising $50 million yearly fall in conditional access (CA) spend to $1.92 billion.

condacc 14sep2017The analyst found that capabilities vary in the security segment, with broadcast CA and proprietary DRM part and parcel of any minimum viable security solution, but encryption alone no longer sufficient to impede illicit, systemic restreaming.

IHS Markit regards secure media players, forensic watermarking, piracy monitoring and infrastructure security form the crux of an expanded, holistic approach to revenue security. It added that security forms only part of the broader technology ecosystem that media companies and service providers require, with the broader video ecosystem draws together firms with expertise in infrastructure, video processing, video experience solutions and analytics.

Looking at the top vendors, the analyst found that Cisco has retreated from its dominant market position with CA revenue contracting by 17%, its business mainly taken over by Nagra which now boasts 30% of CA spend. In conjunction with stable mate Conax, the Kudelski Group now controls 35% of the global CA market and leads the industry by a considerable margin.

“The content security industry is rife with competitive repositioning and strategic manoeuvring,” said Merrick Kingston, principal analyst at IHS Markit.  “Ultimately, however, Nagra’s advance is attributable to a single empirical antecedent: the firm has shown unparalleled commitment to broadening the scope and capability of its security portfolio. Media companies are not foolhardy, and they’re not prepared to predicate the integrity of their business model on passive encryption alone. Although the competitive landscape can shift quickly, at the present time Nagra alone offers an end-to-end suite comprising transmission, storage, data centre, and on-device security, as well as proprietary content tracking and proactive, piracy monitoring and takedown services. The company’s breadth of security offerings is currently unrivalled.”

The analyst concluded that from an R&D perspective, tailoring spend to achieve even a modicum of product specialisation was a best-response for any firm and that those with a provenance in video hardware, software, and apps had other diversification options at their disposal. IHS Markit believes that the media industry is marching inexorably toward the ‘datafication’ of video operations and that among companies with a content security and video software background, few have established a competitive foothold in the analytics and predictive business intelligence segment. As a consequence, it saw ‘considerable’ first-mover advantage exists for those firms who secure an early foothold in this market.