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Widevine DRM

Published Date: 3 November 2022

What is Widevine DRM?

Widevine DRM is a proprietary licensing and encryption technology managed by Google. Nearly thirty chipsets, major mobile OS, desktop OS, Google web browsers (Chromium and Firefox), and consumer devices (Chromecast, Android Mobile, and Android TV) have adopted Widevine as their primary content protection system.

Developed by Widevine Technologies to replace smartcard-based content protection systems, Widevine DRM was acquired by Google in 2010 and is now widely used to securely distribute and protect premium media on Google’s major platforms. It works in conjunction with other content protection systems (multi-DRM) to provide top-notch protection against unlawful distribution and leakage of copyrighted content.

Advantages of Widevine DRM

  • One of the major advantages of Widevine DRM for OTT and e-learning platforms is to protect premium content from being illegally downloaded and distributed—so as to maximize overall revenue.
  • Widevine DRM ensures matchless device security; it comprises three security levels — Widevine L1, L2 & L3 — depending on security systems used at the hardware or software level.
  • Widevine DRM has a built-in HTML5 player which enables seamless playback and a host of accessibility features across different client devices.

Features of Widevine DRM

  • The current version—Widevine Modular—is compatible with adaptive streaming formats such as MSS as well as CMAF, CENC, and HTML5 standards such as MSE (Media Source Extensions) and EME (Encrypted Media Extensions).
  • It also supports streaming protocols like MPEG DASH and HLS.
  • Widevine DRM is compatible with modern media containers like ISO BMFF (MP4) and WebM.

Applications of Widevine DRM

  • Widevine DRM is used by Chromium and Firefox web browsers and major consumer electronics devices like Chromecast, Android Mobile, and Android TV.
  • It is used by leading content platforms such as Google Play, Disney+, YouTube, Paramount, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, and more to distribute premium content.

Related Terms

Video Quality

In simple terms, video quality is the characteristic of a video that determines how clear, crisp, and detailed the video transmitted to the viewer is.

Video Watermark

A video watermark is a digital copyright tool used to identify the video's copyright owner or prevent illegal distribution.


1:1 is a commonly used aspect ratio in videography. It produces videos that are a perfect square; the width and height of the video image are the same.

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