RealTime IT News

Bang the DRM

The nascent Digital Rights Management (DRM) marketplace, which was worth $36 million in 2003, is expected to increase by 2008 to $274 million, which translates into 661 percent explosion in revenue.

Jupiter Research, a subsidiary of Jupitermedia, which also owns internetnews.com, recently completed an 800-person survey on DRM that identified a number of key trends and observations.

The need for DRM solutions comes from both external and internal threats to sensitive information. "The vast majority of corporate data loss is due to human error," Peter Sargent, senior analyst at Jupiter Research told internetnews.com. "The real threat isn't malicious intent on the part of individuals trying to steal your data. Its the everyday mishaps that go on in the workplace."

Enterprises of all stripes are obviously concerned about controlling sensitive information. Though government, high-tech manufacturing and financial services are expected to lead corporate DRM adoption according to Jupiter Research.

Among survey respondents, virus infections were the number one reported cause of security mishaps. The unintended forwarding of e-mail came in at number two, followed by the loss of mobile devices in the number three spot.

According to Sargent, the need for DRM solutions in the enterprise is predicated on three things: web based messaging, mobility and co-mingling, the latter of which he defines as the co-habitation of personal and work related information.

"The value proposition of a DRM solution is not just about security," Sargent explained. "The fact of the matter is that these are tools that allow you to facilitate new business processes, to control, manage and audit the flow and distribution of information."

The current DRM market is still emerging and is expected to grow as familiarity with the technology and its benefit increases.

"I think there's a stigma around DRM," Sargent said. "It's associated with the digital audio/video entertainment space, and there is a lack of familiarity with it. People don't understand what they can get from a DRM solution."

In the entertainment and publishing content industries, Microsoft has been leading the way recently with its own DRM offerings. Microsoft's unveiled its latest DRM offering in May. AOL, Disney, Dell and the resurrected Napster online music service are currently using it.

Microsoft rival RealNetworks has been busy with its own DRM offering lately, a new Video-On- Demand service with Starz Encore Group.

More on the software side of things, Macrovision recently acquired InstallShield to further bolster its own enterprise DRM offerings into InstallShield's large installed customer base.