Digital rights management

ExoPlayer uses Android’s MediaDrm API to support DRM protected playbacks. The minimum Android versions required for different supported DRM schemes, along with the streaming formats for which they’re supported, are:

DRM scheme Android version number Android API level Supported formats
Widevine “cenc” 4.4 19 DASH, HLS (FMP4 only)
Widevine “cbcs” 7.1 25 DASH, HLS (FMP4 only)
ClearKey “cenc” 5.0 21 DASH
PlayReady SL2000 “cenc” AndroidTV AndroidTV DASH, SmoothStreaming, HLS (FMP4 only)

In order to play DRM protected content with ExoPlayer, the UUID of the DRM system and the license server URI should be specified when building a media item. The player will then use these properties to build a default implementation of DrmSessionManager, called DefaultDrmSessionManager, that’s suitable for most use cases. For some use cases additional DRM properties may be necessary, as outlined in the sections below.

Key rotation

To play streams with rotating keys, pass true to MediaItem.Builder.setDrmMultiSession when building the media item.

Known issue #4133 - There may be a slight pause in playback when key rotation occurs.

Known issue #3561 - On API level 22 and below, the output surface may flicker when key rotation occurs.

Multi-key content

Multi-key content consists of multiple streams, where some streams use different keys than others. Multi-key content can be played in one of two ways, depending on how the license server is configured.

Case 1: License server responds with all keys for the content

In this case, the license server is configured so that when it receives a request for one key, it responds with all keys for the content. This case is handled by ExoPlayer without the need for any special configuration. Adaptation between streams (e.g. SD and HD video) is seamless even if they use different keys.

Where possible, we recommend configuring your license server to behave in this way. It’s the most efficient and robust way to support playback of multikey content, because it doesn’t require the client to make multiple license requests to access the different streams.

Case 2: License server responds with requested key only

In this case, the license server is configured to respond with only the key specified in the request. Multi-key content can be played with this license server configuration by passing true to MediaItem.Builder.setDrmMultiSession when building the media item.

We do not recommend configuring your license server to behave in this way. It requires extra license requests to play multi-key content, which is less efficient and robust than the alternative described above.

Known issue #4133 - When using this license server configuration, there may be a slight pause in playback when adapting between streams that use different keys.

Offline keys

An offline key set can be loaded by passing the key set ID to MediaItem.Builder.setDrmKeySetId when building the media item. This allows playback using the keys stored in the offline key set with the specified ID.

Known issue #3872 - Only one offline key set can be specified per playback. As a result, offline playback of multi-key content is currently supported only when the license server is configured as described in Case 1 above.

DRM sessions for clear content

Use of placeholder DrmSessions allows ExoPlayer to use the same decoders for clear content as are used when playing encrypted content. When media contains both clear and encrypted sections, you may want to use placeholder DrmSessions to avoid re-creation of decoders when transitions between clear and encrypted sections occur. Use of placeholder DrmSessions for audio and video tracks can be enabled by passing true to MediaItem.Builder.setDrmSessionForClearPeriods when building the media item.

Using a custom DrmSessionManager

If an app wants to customise the DrmSessionManager used for playback, they can implement a DrmSessionManagerProvider and pass this to the MediaSourceFactory which is used when building the player. The provider can choose whether to instantiate a new manager instance each time or not. To always use the same instance:

DrmSessionManager customDrmSessionManager =
    new CustomDrmSessionManager(/* ... */);
// Pass a drm session manager provider to the media source factory.
MediaSourceFactory mediaSourceFactory =
    new DefaultMediaSourceFactory(dataSourceFactory)
        .setDrmSessionManagerProvider(mediaItem -> customDrmSessionManager);