Broadcasters serve a vital role in communities across the country. In addition to providing news and information to communities, broadcasters are instrumental to the economy. Per the National Broadcasters Association (NAB), broadcasting accounts for more than 2.28 million jobs in the U.S., and generates $1.03 trillion annually for the nation’s economy.
Given the economic and societal importance of broadcasters, it is vital for them to have accurate data that ensures they deliver the right content, while personalizing the user experience, and protecting the digital rights of content owners. Many have long considered Digital Element as the go-to source for accurate, global IP Intelligence data to help solve some of these challenges.
Let’s look at some of the most important use cases.
#1: Licensing & Copyrights Compliance
Copyright owners never give licensors carte blanche with their intellectual properties. The more people who see or use their audio or video content, the more royalties they earn. Those agreements are negotiated by region.
Digital Element’s IP location and intelligence data helps broadcasters ensure compliance with licensing and copyright agreements. Programming content is served to audiences based on country, state/region, city, and ZIP and postal code, enabling broadcasters to ensure users in prohibited or embargoed areas are restricted from accessing their digital assets. Furthermore, the ability to identify users hiding behind proxies in order to circumvent location restrictions helps broadcasters further protect rights’ holders.
#2: Ad Serving & Content Personalization
Every marketer is keen to display the appropriate content to the right user in order to increase engagement and, ultimately, ROI.
For example, by targeting postal codes near a tentpole event, such as a music festival or a major sporting event – marketers can deliver just-in-time ads to receptive audiences (think: transportation ads to the big event, or ads that drive traffic to a local eatery franchise). Ads that reach consumers at the right place and the right time deliver higher engagement and ROI.
IP Intelligence data is inherently non-invasive, enabling marketers to tap into a wide variety of contextual data so that they can deliver relevant content to the right audiences. . Additional insights, including demographic data, allow brands to target ads relating to a population in an area or region.
#3: Enhanced User Experience
Content delivery networks (CDNs) help ensure a positive user experience by delivering content at the optimal speed based on connection, or ideal format based on viewer’s device. They also process incoming requests and deliver content to any point on the network on demand, while managing entitlements and access to video assets based on the authentication of user rights and integration into the order process.
Digital Element’s IP Intelligence data automatically detects the connection type and speed of the device, helping the CDN to ensure content is delivered at the right speed and format for the device, providing customers with high-quality viewing and sound quality with no delays or buffering interruptions.
#4: Fighting Piracy
Piracy is a scourge that threatens the broadcasting sector, putting protected content, revenue, and even jobs at risk. In its 2021 report, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) estimates that online TV and film piracy costs the U.S. economy a minimum of $29 billion in lost revenue each year, and robs the industry of hundreds and thousands of jobs.
Much of that piracy stems from consumers accessing content that’s outside of their markets — crime they can easily commit using any of the plethora of VPNs available to them. In their defense, leveraging VPN to access out-of-market content is so widespread and common that many consumers may not be aware that this behavior is illegal.
Digital Element’s Nodify can determine whether inbound traffic is tied to a VPN, proxy, or a darknet, enabling broadcasters to block proxy and darknet traffic proactively, or prompt users for additional authentication (an important consideration as many people use VPNs for privacy or for work, and a global ban of VPN traffic will penalize many legitimate users).
Content pirates are switching tactics, switching from VPNs to residential IP proxy networks to circumvent detection. These are networks that pay consumers to share their internet across devices, and then enable other customers to “rent” that consumer traffic. However, Nodify can detect residential IP proxies, enabling broadcasters to block such traffic.
#5: Enhance Cybersecurity
Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) are important tools for broadcasters, but the rise of residential IP proxy networks has given nefarious actors a workaround. WAFs look at the IP address and geo-location of devices seeking to access a broadcaster’s web applications, and if they are residential and located within the right city or region, grant access. But without additional contextual data around network traffic, like that provided by Nodify, WAFs cannot distinguish between residential IP addresses that are real and those that are proxied.
We advise our clients that protecting their web applications requires a strong cybersecurity posture, especially considering the rise in VPN usage. Layering in threat intelligence insights, such as VPN intelligence data, can help protect your geo-filtering ecosystem; these insights allow streaming media companies to protect revenue by determining which connections pose risks, and prevent bad actors from circumvention activities by identifying anonymized connections, or connections from certain geographies.