Key considerations with watermarking

There are some known issues that apply to the use of watermarking with AMD. Review them before adding this functionality to your property.


​Akamai​ needs to deliver HLS media manifests.

Delivery of watermarked content follows a specific scheme:

  1. A content provider delivers content to an over-the-top (OTT) provider in an unmarked state.
  2. The OTT provider prepares the content for watermarking as HLS with "A" and "B" segment variants, and stores those segments on an origin server.
  3. The OTT provider (or the client application) delivers the Watermarking Token (WMT) used in the exchange to the ​Akamai​ edge.
  4. The edge transparently delivers segments to the end user, using the unique pattern defined in the WMT.

​Akamai​ needs to update HLS manifests to properly perform the switch and deliver segments based on what's defined in the WMT.

There will be a footprint increase when watermarking is enabled.

Watermarking generates two separate versions of a media file to support its variant A to B switch model. So, storage on your origin will be impacted.

Watermarking can't be applied in Multi-CDN environments.

This feature won't work as intended in a multi-CDN environment because its functionality is unique to the ​Akamai​ CDN. If a request was to be switched mid-stream to another CDN, it would need a version of watermarking that mirrors ​Akamai​'s.

Prefetching is not recommended.

Our Prefetching implementation uses an origin-assist model that is not optimal with watermarking. As a result, AMD can't properly apply the Segmented Media Streaming - Prefetch behavior and the Watermarking behavior to a single request. Avoid including both behaviors in the same rule. Also, don't apply either behavior in the Default Rule, if the other exists in a subsequent rule in your property. This is because the Default Rule applies to all requests.


If you're applying a Mixed Mode use case for both Media Services Live and other Origin Servers, we recommend that you create a separate rule for your non-Media Services Live requests and include the Watermarking behavior in that rule. Don't include it in the Default Rule because it applies to all requests.

Media Services Live isn't supported.

Watermarking is currently only supported for use with on-demand media. Your Origin Server needs to be set to either "Your Origin" or "NetStorage."

AMD Failover doesn't work with Watermarking.

Currently, AMD failover does not work if you also include Watermarking. This should be fixed with an upcoming release.

Range requests are not supported.

This can cause a range mismatch. Arbitrary range requests are a security violation when requesting a watermarked stream.