If you have ever been on social media, LinkedIn, or even had access to a shared drive on a corporate network or Intranet, you know how easy it is to share content in the digital age. Documents, images, videos and more can all be uploaded, downloaded, and viewed with the click of a button. This has made things easier for businesses trying to get things done, and made sharing content with paid subscribers faster and more efficient by going digital and distributing their content online.
However, it also puts companies at greater risk to have their intellectual property shared with unauthorized users which negatively affects their revenue and the bottom line. Never has there been more of a need for a digital rights management (DRM) solution than there is today.
You might ask yourself, what is a DRM solution and why do we need one? After all, isn’t an internal firewall or secure web connection enough to protect your content? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Regardless of your industry, you need a better solution in place to safeguard your intellectual property.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) Solutions Explained
DRM solutions are software programs created to help companies protect and control their valuable digital content, whether it's documents, videos, images or audio files. Most DRM solutions today are antiquated because they still rely on clunky 3rd party apps or plug-ins for users to download before they can access the DRM protected content. A modern, quality DRM solution does not rely on such measures.
As Tech Target states:
“Digital rights management (DRM) is a systematic approach to copyright protection for digital media. The purpose of DRM is to prevent unauthorized redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they've purchased.”
Instead, quality DRM solutions use the systems and applications that users are commonly using today (browsers, PDF viewers, etc.), without plug-ins or apps to download. They are available as cloud-based solutions, either as a standalone product with a secure portal for users to log into, or with APIs, allowing them to be integrated with the systems that organizations and businesses already use such as their own website, a content management system, an e-commerce system, an LMS, CRM, or more. Regardless of how the content is normally accessed, using DRM software will help prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to that content, ideally with no messy plug-ins or proprietary apps that users need to download. In fact, if you've integrated your system with single sign-on access, your users may never even realize your content is protected with DRM controls!
Benefits of Digital Rights Management (DRM) Software
If you’re still not convinced that you need a quality solution -- such as Vitrium Content Protection Software -- for your business, perhaps this will help. Below are some key benefits to selecting a digital rights management (DRM) software.
Whether you work for an association or a professional training organization, you need to know how to send documents securely and share your valuable training videos with your members and trainees. With DRM software, associations of all shapes and sizes can secure their valuable teaching materials with ease, and integrate with the association management systems (AMS) or learning management systems (LMS) that you already use today.
Protect your association's eBooks, guides, research reports, training videos, podcasts and other supplementary materials, distribute them through your AMS or LMS and set various access control rights such as expiry dates and device limits so only those authorized members or paid clients can gain access to the content. A quality DRM solution will even protect the files that are downloaded to a computer or shared drive, and work with today’s read-out-loud applications for visually impaired individuals.
When the membership ends or the class ends, if you’ve already set a date restriction, access to the association's content, e-learning and course materials will be automatically revoked. Your students will be able to complete their training, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not they’ve passed along the information to the next class.
Countless hours go into market research in the commodities, oil and gas, medical, pharmaceutical, technology, and other industry sectors. It would be a shame for those hours to become worthless when reports, videos, price sheets, forecasts, and more get leaked online or shared with others who haven’t paid for the report or haven’t subscribed to your service. It is critical that you protect your valuable research information with a Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution.
When you fail to use document encryption and control settings on your content, you’re risking the chance that everything your company works so hard to create will fall into the hands of unauthorized users or unpaid subscribers.
Financial institutions such as asset management companies, hedge funds, insurance companies, private equity firms and other investment management organizations need to protect the interests of their clients, their shareholders, and themselves. If the data breaches of the last decade or so have taught us anything, it’s that unauthorized users will stop at nothing to get the information they are looking for. That’s why it’s so important to protect your content with the best DRM solution available.
Solutions like Dropbox or data rooms only secure the 'house' or 'portal' where clients can access the files, but they don't protect the individual files or documents once they're downloaded. A quality DRM solution will protect the files when they're downloaded, no matter where they're stored or saved. Don’t risk your reputation or your bottom line by allowing your content to get leaked or shared with others who don't have permission.
Most people look to their industry trade association or national standards organizations to stay up to date on the codes and standards that affect them in their industry, region or country. As such, they are the organizations that have the most pertinent information that professionals need to be in compliance and/or get a competitive edge. That’s why companies and trades professionals pay associations and trade organizations membership fees and subscription dues to access the standards documents or training materials they need to be successful.
It’s important to protect the standards documents that you sell and to secure your association’s revenue-generating content, otherwise, all of those fees and dues could come to a screeching halt. Your documents, videos, audio files, and other content need to be encrypted so that only the people paying for access, your authorized users, will be able to see it. Even if someone has a membership, sharing, printing, and copying content could also be restricted. Then, once their membership ends, access should be revoked. These measures are the only way to ensure your valuable content maintains its value.
A DRM solution can be useful not only to lock your content down for certain audiences, but you can also use the different controls to your advantage and introduce more multi-tiered subscription plans as a way to increase your revenue within your organization. For example, charge a lower fee for view-only access to a standard document with a limit of 1 device and no printing, but increase the level of access for a premium-paying subscriber - allow them to access the standard on more devices and they can print the standard as much as they want. By upselling your members or subscribers to the premium option, you will earn more revenue as a result.
For professionals in the media & publishing industry, content is everything. Protecting that content is key to protecting their bottom line. While they need to share it with their subscribers, leaks, piracy, and unauthorized access renders their subscription fees worthless. Why pay for what you can get for free? The same is true for authors who self-publish their books.
With a quality DRM solution, media & publishing companies can implement different content and user controls for different groups of users. Similar to the analogy above for standards organizations, media & publishing companies can charge a lower fee for people to purchase view-only access to their video or eBook content, content that's viewable on 1 device only, but for a higher, premium fee, they can access the content on multiple devices. Implementing a DRM solution does not have to be a "one size fits all" situation. It can be multi-faceted, innovative, and allow media & publishing firms to sell their revenue-generating content for even more than what they imagined!
Vitrium Can Protect Your Content
While we’ve only mentioned a few industries here today, the truth is if you have content that needs protecting, or you have content that you sell online, we’ve got you covered. Our DRM software is versatile enough to meet the needs of any company, no matter the size or type of business.
Vitrium can be used as a standalone hosted platform or can it be integrated with another system you use in your organization today such as a CRM system, a content management system (CMS), learning management system (LMS), association management system (AMS), or more. When you sign up with us, we can have your content protected in as little as one day. Learn more about our software, or if you’re ready to get started, click here to request a demo now.