How VdoCipher helps combat video piracy & provides video infrastructure to businesses
In the last few years, we’ve witnessed an exponential growth in the number of video platforms. E-learning businesses, schools, colleges, and movie/web-series platforms, all rely on the online distribution and monetization of videos. But video piracy is a major risk for anybody who is trying to make money from online premium videos or protect their copyrighted content.
Gurugram-based VdoCipher Media Solutions is addressing the problem of video piracy helping platforms to protect their video revenues. Serving almost 2000+ e-learning and media platforms from 40+ countries, VdoCipher boasts of customers spanning all six continents.
Combating piracy through cloud-based encryption
Back in 2015, Vibhav Sinha and Siddhant Jain were studying engineering at IIT-Delhi at a time when online video piracy was rampant. Vibhav, at that time, was working as a freelancer on a cloud project while undertaking a course on video encryption. Triggered the idea of combining these two led to the birth of VdoCipher.
“We released a secure player in the beta stage and wanted to test it out in the market, before going for the full product. We also wanted to check whether India has the kind of market we were looking for in our startup. So, finally, we got hold of two major clients who confirmed that they were in need of security for videos. Thus, we thought that the time is here to build and release our whole product, post which we got our first few customers. So, by the time we graduated, we were already working with half a dozen paid customers,” said Siddhant.
VdoCipher emerged from the idea of combating piracy through cloud-based encryption with cloud rendered video playback. “We wanted to create something that would be effective for every business, irrespective of their size and magnitude. We can find loads of small or medium-sized e-learning and media platforms that can’t get access to the kind of security required owing to the pricing and technological challenge. Thus, we thought of a solution that would cater to both extremes - single-owner businesses and large enterprises,” he added.
The value proposition of VdoCipher for its security features makes the company stronger than its competitors, according to Siddhant. “The primary challenge is to prevent illegal video downloads. Our multi-DRM encryption technology expands to all major devices and browsers - Desktop, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Mobile Apps. Platforms like Hotstar and Netflix also are using the same protocols for securing content. Thus, we take pride in claiming that our security solutions are Hollywood-grade and in fact, our security has been already used to stream Hollywood and Indian movies. ” he explained.
VdoCipher also provides screen-capture block security for mobile applications, and for certain browsers, it can successfully block screen capture. “We have viewer-specific watermarking. For instance, if a customer is watching a video being hosted by us, then the customer can use their details like a user id or number and overlay it as a watermark. The solution discourages the idea of any kind of screen or camera capture,” added Siddhant.
Thus, from a single teacher owning a website to a large edtech platform with millions of users - everybody can have access to the secured product. How does VdoCipher make it happen?
To this, Siddhant reveals that creating easy integration was one of their primary goals, as integration is a major challenge in the video technology business. “We made sure that even smaller teams with zero-coding experience can opt for the highest security. Right now, we have several independent teachers in India who use our solutions to release their courses online. Also, we have large enterprises as customers, so in terms of size, we are able to cater solutions to both extremes,” he added.
Sharing an interesting anecdote, Siddhant recalled how they acquired a customer during the primary stage who had a movie platform. The platform catered to thousands of Somalians staying in Norway, who used to watch both old and new Bollywood movies dubbed in their language. “People say that Bollywood has a global fanbase, and witnessing Somalians based out of Norway, watching Bollywood classics made me realize the magnitude of the popularity of Bollywood movies,” he said.
Statistically speaking, VdoCipher is generating about 3 crores (30 million views) for customers on a monthly basis. “As an angel-funded startup initially in 2016-17 without any VC backing, it’s always been cash conservation for us with a focus on organic means of customer acquisition. However, our goal was to create an overall sustainable and profitable business, and yes we have successfully created that,” said Siddhant.
Another challenge, which is again quite common in any security business, is to keep updating with time, and VdoCipher has dedicatedly done this while introducing new security features over time as well as updating the pre-existing ones.
“We not only provide security but complete video hosting solutions, you can manage your video through our dashboard, we have APIs that lets you upload your videos automatically, and you can even custom HTML code in the player to customize it via player API. Also, with our video analytics, you can see gain insights into user behavior. Discussing the product roadmap, we are on the verge of releasing a new video player which would be even further easy to use, customizable, and allow interactivities ” added Siddhant.
The way ahead
VdoCipher has witnessed a YOY growth with regards to revenue and customers, with a significant percentage being from overseas. “We are fortunate to get customers all across the globe. We are already a popular brand in India, We are striving to become the default video-hosting provider and solution platform for e-learning and media businesses across more countries, and making a name in building trusted solutions around video security globally,” conjectures Siddhant.