Online video platform Brightcove has developed a solution to enable programming providers to offer TV Everywhere compatible catch-up television services. It is intended to simplify the challenge of allowing users to access online video based on their pay-television subscription. The company has teamed with Ping Identity to provide a user authentication and authorization system built on existing open standards.
First announced by Time Warner and Comcast in June 2009, TV Everywhere is a proposal to make certain premium programming available to viewers online, provided that they have a subscription to a multiservice operator.
“TV Everywhere represents a significant and exciting new opportunity for TV programmers to expand the volume of premium video content available to consumers on the Web,” said Brightcove chief executive Jeremy Allaire. “Brightcove’s TVE solution and partnership with Ping Identity provide a powerful onramp to rapidly launch TV Everywhere initiatives and a platform for a wide range of additional functions critical to the success of online video strategies, from branded destination sites, to syndication and social network distribution, to mobile and connected-TV delivery.”
The core challenge of TV Everywhere is the authorisation process to establish that a user is a subscriber of a pay-television service and then to provide access to programming either through a service provider portal or a programme provider site.
In order to achieve this, a federated identity and single sign-on system is required, using technologies such as SAML, which stands for Security Assertion Markup Language. This is an open standard based on XML that has been adopted to support various online application and cloud-based services.
Once authenticated, it is necessary to verify that a viewer is authorised to access a specific programme or channel. This requires a method of passing such authorisation requests and a standard way of describing programming products and packages.
Brightcove has partnered with Ping Identity to integrate its PingFederate system for single sign-on.
“TV Everywhere is driving new requirements for authenticating consumer identities in the cloud,” said Andre Durand, the chief executive of Ping Identity. “This solution is not only revolutionizing the way that programmers deliver video content, it also establishes new expectations for federating consumer identities over the internet.”
Through the Brightcove partnership with Ping Identity, its TV Everywhere solution supports SAML 2.0-based authentication and authorization services that can integrate with existing subscriber systems to manage viewer access to programming online. It allows programming providers to manage rights and entitlements for online video, including scheduling, release windows and geographic restrictions. It also includes flexible video advertising insertion management tools, support for advanced advertising formats, and analytics, audience measurement and reporting.
Brightcove suggests in a whitepaper that TV Everywhere will change the landscape of video programming distribution by providing convenient and ubiquitous access in a web-centric way. However, it points out that this is only in its infancy, currently with only a small amount of programming and barely any actual end-users. There are significant technical, business and user experience issues to resolve, which will undoubtedly take longer to resolve than expected. Brightcove hopes that in the spirit of the internet the industry will take an iterative approach to experimenting, learning and building on successes in order to prepare for the development of the market in the coming years.