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Device Fragmentation & Security in a Hyperconnected World

It's no secret that the proliferation of new devices in the marketplace and the resulting platform fragmentation, has created numerous challenges for content providers who are trying to satisfy customer demand for anytime, anywhere access to content. In the last quarter alone Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones and 11.8 million iPads, while Samsung sold 46.9 million smartphones. Throw in Android tablets, RIM devices, desktop systems and laptops, gaming consoles and connected TVs; and it is easy to understand how providers are struggling to deal with the range of delivery formats. This problem is further compounded for those companies that need to distribute content securely. As it stands today there are also numerous DRM solutions on the marketing including Flash Access, PlayReady, Widevine, OMA and Marlin, adding cost and complexity for providers who are trying to figure the best way to address this challenge.

This sentiment was echoed at the recently held NAB conference, where providers indicated that one of the biggest growing concern for companies that need to securely distribute content to the widest number of consumers is indeed device fragmentation.

As the leading cloud platform for helping enterprises provide a secure user experience, Akamai has always been actively engaged in solving the most pressing challenges facing M&E companies. Our message to content providers has always been, "tell us your business model, the devices you're trying to reach, how you want to distribute your content, and we'll pick the best blend of technologies to help you achieve your goals and reach the widest number of devices possible."

Akamai has the same goal when it comes to content security. The reality is that the DRM market is going to remain fragmented for some time, which makes it important for companies to build a common layer for managing and deploying services across the various platforms. This ask is neither small nor cheap for providers, so we're working to create one standard product and interface using the Akamai Intelligent Platform that will interact with the DRM interface of our customers - helping them to distribute in any format they require.

At Akamai we're committed to reducing the complexities and cost for providers in an increasingly fragmented media universe, through the development of innovative technology and partnering with key players in the industry on the challenges that really matter for our customers. Akamai is a founding member of the DASH Promoter's Group, and we provide full support for UltraViolet and other emerging standards that require security for premium content combined with ease of use and a seamless consumer experience. This is an integral part of our efforts across the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) to continue the dialogue not just on security solutions, but standards, and together move the industry faster forward.

Shawn Michels is a Senior Product Manager at Akamai

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