Widevine, in conjunction with a new release of its cross-platform DRM technology, has identified a number of high-profile customers as well as a list of supported consumer electronics devices. The company revealed that Netflix and Blockbuster.com are using its technology for their on-demand video services. We have known for a while, as well, that Widevine has been the DRM of choice for the emerging Sonic/CinemaNow/Best Buy ecosystem of networked home media.
Just as interesting as the names of these high-profile customers is the list of consumer devices that Widevine has been ported to — information which has been closely held until now. The list includes all Apple devices (Macs, iPhones/iPod Touches, and now iPads); connected Blu-ray players from several makers including Haier, LG, Philips, Samsung, and Toshiba; Internet TVs from LG and Samsung; and Nintendo Wiis. These are in addition to Windows PCs and dozens of set-top boxes.
Widevine is clearly moving beyond the cable/telco/pay-TV services that constitute its core market to home networked entertainment — an area that has been slow to develop, giving the company time to hone its product and partnerships.
Widevine particularly faces competition from its bigger Seattle neighbor Microsoft, which has been moving its PlayReady DRM from mobile devices into the home by making it part of the MediaRoom ecosystem, and Marlin, which has been making its way into a range of Sony products (among others). Those three, plus OMA DRM and Adobe’s Flash Media Rights Manager, are all approved DRMs for the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (SAO.org) consortium — which was somewhat conspicuous in its silence at the recent NAB trade show.
It seems as though Widevine has been itching to publicize big customers like Netflix, and major device makers like Samsung and LG, and has finally been given the chance. (I suppose it’s not easy being one of the last of the independent DRM vendors.) Now it’s clear that Widevine is a major player in the emerging world of the networked digital home.