YouTube TV Photo: A.J. Perez

If you were using a streaming service Tuesday, chances are you couldn’t watch anything for a while. The majority of the most popular streaming services had issues throughout Tuesday night that lasted for almost a couple hours.

Many people posted on social media about not being able to watch TV and some services, like YouTube TV and Sling, alerted consumers of the ongoing issues. For what it’s worth, I personally had no issues with YouTube TV but many others have been affected.

The issue seems to stem from a provider called “Widevine,” a digital rights management service that is owned by Google and is a part of just about every popular streaming service and device.

As explained on Google’s Developer site:

“Widevine DRM is Google’s content protection system for premium media. It is used by major partners around the world such as Google Play, YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, Discovery+, Paramount+ and many more. The focus of Widevine is to provide the best experience for viewing premium content over digital distribution.”

In layman’s terms, a DRM is there so you’re only getting the channels and content that you’re paying for. So for instance, if you have Sling’s Blue package, the DRM makes sure you get the channels from that package and not from the Orange package. If that goes down, it doesn’t know what subscription package you have and may prevent you from seeing anything.

According to DRMtoday, the issue started to be investigated around 5:04 PM ET and Google was addressing the issue by 5:38. At around 6:45, Google revealed they resolved the issue. Hopefully, the issues are in the rearview mirror and people can enjoy watching TV the rest of the night.

[Photo: A.J. Perez]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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