The media landscape of today is vastly different than what used to exist. What’s more, the way it’s so different is just the tip of the iceberg. The progression of media on the internet away from the ability to control the flow of information has been profound and is only picking up speed.
One consequence of this has been the rise of streaming content. For music, television, and movies, online streaming is clearly the future. That’s why positively massive amounts of money is getting spent on the streaming rights for content. Companies like Netflix (NFLX) are sinking gobs of cash into their original programming and then gobs more into the rights for shows like Friends. And a future where they’re spending even more seems inevitable as their competitors start to step up to the plate with their own big splashes. Netflix was recently priced out of the bidding for the rights to Seinfeld, which were ultimately landed by Hulu.
Of course, before it really makes sense to spend prodigious amounts of money on content streamed over the internet, a company should be able to ensure that they can protect the asset they paid so dearly for. This was something well-illustrated by the recent Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. According to ESPN, one Mashable tech writer claimed to be watching an illegal stream of the Pay-Per-View event with over 10,000 people on it. Given the $100 price of the fight, that would come to $1 million in lost revenue for the fight for that stream alone. Something that warrants a closer look when Twitter took down some 30 streams during the fight. Considering that there were undoubtedly a number of illegal streams that weren’t caught in addition to those that were, it could mean the financial loss to pirated streams was pretty tremendous.
What the solution? How do these new streaming empires protect their increasingly expensive streaming content? One company that may be at the center of this is Rightscorp (RIHT) . Rightscorp has been a leading provider of copyright piracy solutions, pursuing a strategy that involves contacting people pirating content and offering them settlement terms to recover some of the lost value for copyright holders while avoiding lengthy legal battles.
And on May 7, Rightscorp announced a new product that should allow it to push into the fight to protect streaming content. Its new Streaming Rights Monitoring (SRM) service ensures that intellectual property (IP) being streamed online can be monitored by the broadcasters and rights holders who own it.
With so much media content moving online and into the streaming category, Rightscorp may be operating ahead of the curve, developing a product that caters to a rapidly growing need. If Netflix is ready to spend $120 million for the streaming rights to Friends, or an estimated $60 million a season on House of Cards, it would assume that there’s a major market opportunity for any company that can ensure that those properties aren’t getting stolen and illegally streamed.
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