Apple FairPlay license requirements and configuration

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Azure Media Services enables you to encrypt your HLS content with Apple FairPlay Streaming (AES-128 CBC). Media Services also provides a service for delivering FairPlay licenses. FairPlay Streaming is an Apple technology that is only available for video transferred over HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) on iOS devices, in Apple TV, and in Safari on macOS. When an Apple client tries to play your FairPlay-protected content over HLS format, a request is sent to the license delivery service to obtain a license. If the license service approves the request, it issues the license that is sent to the client and is used to decrypt and play the specified content.

Media Services also provides APIs that you can use to configure your FairPlay licenses. This topic discusses FairPlay license requirements and demonstrates how you can configure a FairPlay license using Media Services APIs.


The following are required when using Media Services to encrypt your HLS content with Apple FairPlay and use Media Services to deliver FairPlay licenses:

  • Sign up with Apple Development Program.

  • Apple requires the content owner to obtain the deployment package. State that you already implemented Key Security Module (KSM) with Media Services, and that you are requesting the final FPS package. There are instructions in the final FPS package to generate certification and obtain the Application Secret Key (ASK). You use ASK to configure FairPlay.

  • The following things must be set on Media Services key/license delivery side:

    • App Cert (AC): This is a .pfx file that contains the private key. You create this file and encrypt it with a password. The .pfx file should be in Base64 format.

      The following steps describe how to generate a .pfx certificate file for FairPlay:

      1. Install OpenSSL from

        Go to the folder where the FairPlay certificate and other files delivered by Apple are.

      2. Run the following command from the command line. This converts the .cer file to a .pem file.

        "C:\OpenSSL-Win32\bin\openssl.exe" x509 -inform der -in FairPlay.cer -out FairPlay-out.pem

      3. Run the following command from the command line. This converts the .pem file to a .pfx file with the private key. The password for the .pfx file is then asked by OpenSSL.

        "C:\OpenSSL-Win32\bin\openssl.exe" pkcs12 -export -out FairPlay-out.pfx -inkey privatekey.pem -in FairPlay-out.pem -passin file:privatekey-pem-pass.txt

    • App Cert password: The password for creating the .pfx file.

    • ASK: This key is received when you generate the certification by using the Apple Developer portal. Each development team receives a unique ASK. Save a copy of the ASK, and store it in a safe place. You need to configure ASK as FairPlayAsk with Media Services.

  • The following things must be set by the FPS client side:

    • App Cert (AC): This is a .cer/.der file that contains the public key, which the operating system uses to encrypt some payload. Media Services needs to know about it because it is required by the player. The key delivery service decrypts it using the corresponding private key.
  • To play back a FairPlay encrypted stream, get a real ASK first, and then generate a real certificate. That process creates all three parts:

    • .der file
    • .pfx file
    • password for the .pfx


Azure Media Services doesn't check the certificate expiration date during packaging or key delivery. It will continue to work after the certificate expires.

FairPlay and player apps

When your content is encrypted with Apple FairPlay, the individual video and audio samples are encrypted by using the AES-128 CBC mode. FairPlay Streaming (FPS) is integrated into the device operating systems, with native support on iOS and Apple TV. Safari on OS X enables FPS by using the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) interface support.

Azure Media Player also supports FairPlay playback. For more information, see Azure Media Player documentation.

You can develop your own player apps by using the iOS SDK. To be able to play FairPlay content, you have to implement the license exchange protocol. This protocol is not specified by Apple. It is up to each app how to send key delivery requests. The Media Services FairPlay key delivery service expects the SPC to come as a www-form-url encoded post message, in the following form:

spc=<Base64 encoded SPC>

Store a FairPlay Private Key (.pfx) in Azure Key Vault

The private key (.pfx) that you receive from Apple should be treated as a secure certificate and can be stored in the Azure Key Vault.

  • The .pfx certificate file should first be converted to base 64 text file by the admin
  • Once converted, this file can be stored in Azure DevOps Services as a secure text file.
  • The string can then be stored in Azure KeyVault manually as a "secret object", or as part of a deployment/build script for your solution. An example of storing the FairPlay private certificate in Azure KeyVault can be seen in the Gridwich project sample code
  • Optionally, store the password for the .pfx file as a secret in the key vault.

Example CLI script

To copy the base64 encoded private key file to the Azure KeyVault:

set -eu
echo key vault : $SHARED_KV_NAME
echo "Copying FairPlay certificate to key vault as secret"
az keyvault secret set --vault-name $SHARED_KV_NAME -n ams-fairPlay-certificate-b64 -f $(FairPlayCertificate.secureFilePath) --output none

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