2023: A Year in Review from Friend MTS

It’s been a busy year in the world of content protection, and content security has continued to hit the headlines and evolve at breakneck speed. As we fast approach the end of 2023, we round up the top news stories from the Friend MTS team, industry events and the wider industry for you to digest before 2024 is upon us. 

Fast growth for Friend MTS

2023 has been a pivotal year for the Friend MTS team. In fact, the overall headcount has increased by more than 30% this year. With a host of new hires on the executive team including new CEO Shane McCarthy, SVP of Sales Chris Gibbs, and Daniel Harris as Chair of the Board, our new leadership have helped steer the company towards an exciting future. 

We have strengthened our regional support, with multiple new sales hires around the world, and bolstered our technical expertise with a new Engineering SVP Andy Haynes, and new members of engineering and operations teams. With an office opening in Singapore, new slick offices in Birmingham and York, and the current transformation and expansion of the HQ in London, it’s been an exciting 12 months. 

This is of course in addition to continued partnership with our wide customer base in the media and entertainment industry, as well as teaming up with brand new clients as we continue to expand our global customer list. 

Key industry initiatives

Information sharing within the content security industry is crucial to expand the knowledge and expertise needed to stay one or even two steps ahead of content theft. That’s why this year, Friend MTS expanded their industry memberships by joining the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA), the Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), all valuable forums to learn and share our research and findings, and collaborate with our peers to better support the wider industry. 

Other valuable platforms for the M&E industry are events – and it’s  been a busy year for events! We’ve been proud to support key summits, including Sports Pro OTT in New York in April and the CDSA Summit in LA in December, sharing our own and customer insights into the world of content security and best practices in the ongoing fight against piracy.

As ever, IBC was a key event in the calendar. We were delighted to meet so many of you at our lounge as we shared details of our latest solutions and shed light on Dynamic Delivery Server Blocking. During the show, we hosted an exclusive fireside chat with Diego Dabrio, UEFA’s Senior Anti-Piracy Expert, to discuss how our partnership has helped protect their valuable live sports content using class-leading, Emmy award-winning technology. If you missed it, you can catch up on what was discussed here. For a full list of insights from our time at IBC, you can read our highlights blog. 

In October, we received a warm welcome at APOS in Bali, our first time as headline sponsors. APOS is a global event with an APAC focus, bringing together some of the finest technical and commercial minds in the business, and provides a perfect platform for us to share the best anti-piracy practices in use by the biggest brands in media, sports & entertainment. 

2023 in review

Looking back at this year, we’ve seen a number of trends develop, both within the piracy landscape and around the operational concerns of our customers. At IBC, media and entertainment players were keen to learn more to understand the scale of piracy. A key topic of interest was how broadcasters, operators and rights owners can transform content protection spend into a revenue stream, using currently available content protection tools such as subscriber ID watermarking. You can read more on that in our IBC wrap-up blog

We’ve also recently been analysing content fraud trends over the last 12 months, and have seen that illegal IPTV services have been continually on the rise. CDN leeching is still unfortunately prevalent in the piracy world, and the continued development of social media and the consumption of short-form content has led to more piracy on new social media platforms. 

Next year, we’re expecting to see further developments of blocking orders, as they remain one of the most effective methods of protecting content from fraud and illegal distribution.  For a more detailed analysis of the future of piracy, keep an eye on our blogs and social media.

So yes, 2023 has truly been a year to remember with changes, achievements and excitement – and we can’t wait to see what the next 12 months bring! 

If you’d like to chat with our team about protecting your content, get in touch today. 
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content piracy trends

It is a universally accepted fact that piracy will continue to evolve. As rapidly as technology is employed to [...]

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Friend MTS Limited
177 Shaftesbury Avenue

UK: +44 203 588 2111
US: +1 267 382 4280