September 20, 2001, 12:00 AM — New types of B2B transactions made possible by digital rights
management (DRM) could revolutionize not only ecommerce but also all
aspects of ebusiness.
DRM enables information owners to define commercial rules, such as
pricing and length of use, and protects and manages content after it is
forwarded. Thus, owners can control their digital content in previously
unavailable ways. The content is not only secured but also available to
Worldwide Digital Rights Management Market, 2000-2005 ($B)
New revenue opportunities, business models, and content/pricing models
become possible, including subscription, transaction, tiered offerings,
pay as you go, and pass along (also described as "super distribution")
and incentive-based multilevel marketing.
The demand and ability to leverage existing content in new revenue-
generating ways will drive the growth of the DRM market, according to
The DRM Landscape: Technologies, Vendors, and Markets (IDC #24891, June
IDC expects significant growth in DRM use across a variety of vertical
and horizontal market segments as DRM becomes incorporated into
Internet infrastructure. Vendors will integrate DRM capabilities into
hardware devices and software products designed for content creation,
storage, distribution, and rendering.
The worldwide market for DRM software and software-derived services
should jump from $96 million in 2000 to $3.57 billion in 2005, with a
robust 106.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) (see Figure 1).
There are four primary market drivers for DRM:
* Intellectual property (IP) protection
* New revenue opportunities
* Protection of privacy and confidentiality
* Competing standards
B2B uses of DRM are moving to the fore and represent perhaps the most
significant market for such technology. In the B2B world, one of the
main goals of DRM is to allow businesses to safely contract
electronically business that formerly would have involved paper.
Examples of this include:
* Contract rights management. A software system used to describe
and manage stakeholder rights and payment terms and conditions
for digital media assets.
* Financial clearinghouse services. Software and services for
clearing DRM-generated financial transactions and managing simple
* Tamper proofing. Tamper-proofing technologies that secure a
digital content viewing or playback environment from unauthorized
access through various means in accordance with dictated rights.
DRM Goals and Markets
DRM technology is used for several different goals and is relevant to
many different business and consumer markets. The four main uses of DRM
* Commercial use.