The TASMANIA project has been created under a joint initiative of Flowing Content S.A. and the iMC Group S.A. to deal with issues raised by the unprecedented growth of online digital music and media content sales.
Labelled the TASMANIA project, (Two-wAy Satellite Secure MediA Delivery MoNItoring Application) the service provides the content industry with a B2B centralized administration to organize, execute, control and account for music (or other content) track delivery from release by Record Companies to certified receipt & handover to online music Digital Service Providers (DSP).
Importantly, the service also supports the obligations record companies have with their Artists by tracking consumer purchases and producing an audit trail for Royalty statements. Equally at home with Music tracks, DVD, Film or TV programming commercial roll out of the iMediaCast Network will offer all content users secure B2B delivery supported by accurate B2C sales and marketing information.
The application takes full advantage of satellite communications benefits in terms of large-scale content dissemination, economics, flexible bandwidth-on-demand allocation and a low data rate return path to satisfy users on the key concern of security and certified acknowledgement backchannel retransmissions.
The TASMANIA application has been designed to run on top of a 2-way satellite IP (Internet Protocol) network that implements the end-to-end fully secure electronic distribution of content with DVB Ku-band for the platform-to-DSP forward link: the return path has been developed on the SATMODE platform but can be operated on any IP-based two-way satellite platform.
A Linux PC server with 2-way satellite connectivity is installed in each DSP technical room and serves as a safe repository to where music data is delivered.
In matching the needs of the music market - DSP/Record label/Performer/Customer, there is a market demand for a digital delivery service that offers:
- Sufficient bandwidth capacity to guarantee that digital products can reach world markets on a day-and-date sensitive system,
- A high level of security to defeat the illegal capture of digital content across the delivery chain,
- An information tool to monitor the end-to-end content delivery and certified receipt by the DSP,
- An account reporting framework which can match the sales to the obligations to the Artist for royalty statements,
- Global footprint.
The TASMANIA application relies upon an interface technology that:
- Is secure: content is encrypted; satellite transmission is encrypted on the fly,
- Is reliable: satellite distribution has proven itself the most reliable form of content delivery to the world's largest audiences. Forward Error Correction mechanisms strengthen the two-way IP transmission quality,
- Is time reliable: the global footprint means that new release content can be made available at any specified time by the content owner,
- Accounts for the content delivered: the router tracks the content, provides a receipt and reports back over a secure return path.
From a rights holder's perspective, the TASMANIA application securely provides an end-to-end 2-way satellite network dedicated to its purpose. It is a closed, fully managed, system that is IP-compliant but secure from Internet intervention or trafficking.
The TASMANIA technical proposition is aimed at creating an effective global satellite distribution system for high value media content. It is based on a two-way (DVB forward and return) satellite implementation of the BROADBAND-ENGINETM technology owned by Flowing Content.
The technology enables a full packed turnkey service to conduct all operations ranging from content acquisition to scheduling, encryption and delivery with advanced options for system administration and accounting.
The patent-pending technology reinforces the end to end traceability of encrypted content circulation. It enables the secure upload of accounting and reporting data over the return path.
The distribution is under the programmable command of the central point. The distribution is fully managed, data-format and network agnostic. Content usage is also accounted for from the DSP billing system and is reported back to the platform.
- Reliability is implemented via a genuine decomposition into the set of independent cross-interacting software components to provide robustness and load-balancing. Content integrity is always preserved,
- Security is implemented in a symmetric double-encryption scheme where both content itself is encrypted as well as its delivery stream on-the-fly. Groups of sites are granted for the reception of specific content,
- Traceability is implemented via the tracking of acknowledgments sent by the user to the central point over the return channel network,
- Accountability is implemented via the upload of small size reporting files from the DSP site to the platform. Royalty statements or marketing information and feedback can be produced in an "as live" environment so offering real value to the content owner and Artists.
The project work is aimed at the development and implementation of 3 building blocks that will be integrated to the existing BROADBAND-ENGINETM delivery technology:
- The web interface which helps the user content manager to organize the secure distribution of content to groups of sites (the DSP) in a way which is organized, scheduled, accounted for and managed from end to end,
- The satellite return path module to be integrated into the client (DSP) software to organize the reliable upload of reporting data,
- The 2 APIs that will manage the communications between the delivery engine and the web interface.
The Centre de Recherche Henri Tudor in Luxembourg is sub-contractor in charge of the web interface.
The project successfully passed the final review milestone on March 22, 2007 which marks the end of the project.
Real test content was securely and reliably delivered over the 3-site test network; the acknowledgement scheme (reception and decryption) was effectively implemented over the satellite return path. Thin-client application ergonomics was positively received by all project stakeholders.
The TASMANIA interface application enables from now on secure, end-to-end B2B content delivery and certified reporting of content events.
The application is undergoing pre-commercial demonstration to potential users. The test content catalogue is being further enriched in close co-operation with major recording and other media companies.
The project will now start the exploitation phase with leading members of the Music, Film and Television industries.
The TASMANIA application is licensed exclusively to the iMC Group S.A. for worldwide use in the entertainment media sector.