Broadcast encryption is the cryptographic problem of delivering encrypted content (e.g. TV programs or data on DVDs) over a broadcast channel in such a way that only qualified users (e.g. subscribers who have paid their fees or DVD players conforming to a specification) can decrypt the content

The challenge arises from the requirement that the set of qualified users can change in each broadcast emission, and therefore revocation of individual users or user groups should be possible using broadcast transmissions, only, and without affecting any remaining users. As efficient revocation is the primary objective of broadcast encryption, solutions are also referred to as revocation schemes

The problem of practical broadcast encryption has first been formally studied by Amos Fiat and Moni Naor in 1994.