Software as a service (SaaS) can be defined as software that is owned, delivered, and managed remotely by one or more providers. The vendor usually provides the software based on a set of common codes and data definitions that are consumed in a one-to-many model. SaaS is delivered either on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on user metrics.
With increasing consumption of premium DRM protected content on OTT platforms, forensic video watermarking services are becoming more and more important. In this scenario, SaaS has several advantages over on-premises solutions:
- Ease and mobility: Video watermarking solution offered in the SaaS mode is often pre-integrated with the CDN of the choice of the OTT platform. This method makes its adoption of video-watermarking technology easy and quick. In addition, software that is set up on the cloud is easier to access and can be run from anywhere, eliminating the need to connect to an on-premises solution remotely (navigating through VPNs, firewalls, intranets, etc.).
- Specialized skills: In case of a security breach, the forensic watermark needs to be extracted from the compromised video asset to identify the source of leakage. On-premises extraction processes require skilled and trained staff to run the extraction information, which the OTT platform may not be equipped to hire. On the other hand, SaaS solutions allow control over the process without having to hire trained staff, as the SaaS vendor itself is that trained entity which deals in all aspects of forensic watermarks.
- IT infrastructure: The watermark extraction process requires access to infrastructure which the SaaS provider might have better expertise on. In addition, the hosting company on which the SaaS watermarking solution is provided is responsible for maintaining the hardware and software. The relationship between the SaaS vendor and the CDN saves the content owner/distributor the time, effort, and hassle involved in maintaining the on-premises hardware and software.
- Security: Hackers know that the security apparatus of on-premises networks is not at par with the best in the world, hence they tend to target its embedding and extraction algorithms vigorously and succeed in such attempts. SaaS providers, on the other hand, handle all the security concerns and are largely hacker proof since it is their specialized job to preempt emerging threats.
- Scalability: SaaS solutions can be easily scaled up, as a huge amount of data can be stored on the cloud. They can also be scaled down to minimize wastage of resources. On-premises solutions might need long-term planning for scaling-up and might also need bigger investments for technology upgrades.
- Costs: Typically, SaaS solutions tend to cost less than on-premises solutions. They also offer flexible pricing models and minimize costs related to internal resources and IT support.
OTT platforms need to detect breach of copyrights with speed and efficiency so that they can take time-bound action against violators. On-premises deployments lose to SaaS solutions in this regard and, hence, are not a favorite with premium content producers and distributors.