With the 11.2 iOS release, Apple has enabled FairPlay DRM support for their Safari browsers on mobile devices by enabling the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) APIs. As a result, iOS users no longer need to install player apps to watch DRM protected content, but can simply open up their browser and press play.

 


WHAT IS FAIRPLAY DRM?

Digital Rights Management control the usage, the modification and the distribution of protected content. DRM exists, mainly, to keep content safe and minimize piracy. By sharing the DRM license, content owners allow their viewers to access their copyrighted work. Because browsers dictate which kind of DRM they support, different vendors provide different DRM licenses: while Google and Firefox support Widevine and Microsoft supports PlayReady (on Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge), Apple developed its own DRM system, FairPlay, which was originally created to protect iTunes music content but later improved to protect playback on all mobile devices. Now its support is extended to Safari on iOS as well.

DRM videos now on Safari iOS

In the past, content publishers were highly restricted on Apple’s iOS platform when distributing media. Content owners often require studio approved DRM systems in distribution such as Apple’s FairPlay, Google’s Widevine or Microsoft’s PlayReady. However, on iOS devices, this required the development of an app, as DRM support was not enabled in Safari, in contrast with almost every recent browser. Apple, however, recently published a significant update without much fanfare, which enabled Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) within their Safari browser. The EME API is a key API to allow playback of DRM protected content in HTML5 environments. Thanks to this change, Apple’s FairPlay DRM is now available.

It’s now simpler to reach your audiences

With FairPlay support available in Safari, content publishers can now more easily deliver DRM protected content to iOS users and opens the until now blocked channel of web delivery. While apps still provide significant benefits such as higher engagement, more control on the user experience and ability to add advanced features such as (DRM protected) offline playback, the new channel makes it significantly easier to engage with new viewers which did not take the hurdle of installing the app yet.

In case you are wondering how these new developments can be leveraged, don’t hesitate to get in contact: our team of experts is happy to inform how these changes can benefit you.

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Apple includes Fairplay DRM for Safari