Jeremy Helfand, Vice President of Video Solutions

About Jeremy Helfand, Vice President of Video Solutions

Jeremy Helfand is the vice president of Video Monetization at Adobe. He is an accomplished digital media industry veteran and has spent more than a decade guiding publishers in maximizing content revenue as the CEO of Auditude, president of United Online's Media Group and vice president and general manager of Advertising.com. True to form, Jeremy has more screens in his home than a small electronics store and, if they are playing, the Baltimore Ravens can be seen on every one of them.

Streaming Media Readers Recognize Adobe Primetime’s Industry Contributions

It’s been a busy week for us. At Streaming Media West in Southern California, Adobe Primetime team members Campbell Foster and Joel Huff spoke on panels about the state of TV Everywhere. At the OTTtv World Summit and AdMonsters Screens events in London, our own Steve Allison spoke with M6 about IP broadcasting trends in Europe. And we’re continuing our hard work with partners to bring major sporting events across screens in 2014. It’s clear that the future of TV is bright and Adobe Primetime is playing an integral role in taking TV beyond the living room and making any IP-connected screen a TV.

We’re excited to announce that Adobe Primetime was recognized today as a winner of the 7th annual Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards in three categories – DRM/Access Control Solution, Media & Entertainment Video Platform, and Video Advertising Management Platform. The awards honor the best online video technologies based on public voting. According to Streaming Media, more than 300 nominations were submitted across 26 categories. It’s always exciting to see our efforts recognized, but we’re especially pleased that this award recognition is based on voting by Streaming Media’s readers. Thank you to the Streaming Media staff for hosting this award and the readers who voted for Adobe Primetime. We appreciate the honor and we have some exciting innovations around Adobe Primetime coming in 2014 – along with continuing our hard work with partners to deliver major sporting events across screens – so stay tuned.

SM RCA Winner

And congratulations to our fellow Adobe Creative Cloud team who were also honored with a Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award for Adobe Premiere Pro CC in the “Desktop Video Editing Software” category.

Adobe's Joel Huff (center, right) accepting a Streaming Media Readers' Choice Award for Adobe Primetime from Streaming Media's  Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen (center, left)

Adobe’s Joel Huff (center, right) accepting a Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award for Adobe Primetime from Streaming Media’s Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen (center, left)

Project Primetime Integrations Make It Easier to More Effectively Monetize Professional Video

In addition to our Project Primetime announcements introducing Adobe MediaWeaver and the Primetime Media Player SDK, we are excited to unveil deep integrations between our analytics and advertising solutions. As the benefits of Adobe’s acquisitions and integration with internal development become apparent, video publishers, for the first time, can combine content and ad analytics, enabling comprehensive analyses of revenue opportunities and optimization of ad policies in order to improve audience engagement with content and ads.

By combining content analytics from Adobe SiteCatalyst and revenue analytics from Adobe Auditude, we break down the legacy silos and empower ad inventory managers and revenue executives to make the most profitable ad decisions for their campaigns. Available as an “out-of-the box” solution, SiteCatalyst content analytics are used to automatically create audience segments in Adobe AudienceManager, our data management platform. Then, with the integration of AudienceManager and Auditude, Adobe’s ad serving technology, these segments are automatically available in Auditude, and can be used to serve ads accordingly. Use cases include enhanced audience segment targeting or the ability to optimize your ad load/experience to find that optimal balance between content and ads. This increased insight and customization of the ad experience aids in maximizing the value of video content.

Project Primetime is innovating quickly because the media landscape is evolving at a blistering pace. Creating an immersive viewing experience like that of broadcast TV with finer-grained targeted appropriate to a given audience has long been a goal of premium video publishers. That future is now here, and these integrations represent a unique combination for the industry, especially when combined with the recent updated release of the Auditude platform, which includes new forecasting algorithms and real-time availability queries.

Make sure to check out the information on Adobe MediaWeaver and the Primetime Media Player SDK announcements along with the video overview below. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

Adobe and NBC Olympics Join Forces to Bring the Olympics to Mobile Devices

Today, Adobe and NBC Olympics announced the official NBC Olympics apps for the iPad, iPhone and select Android tablets and smartphones. For the first time in Olympics history, mobile apps will give you the opportunity to view live broadcasts of all Olympic events in the palm of your hand. This is possible because of the partnership between Adobe and NBC Olympics, and Adobe’s ability to provide leading video technology solutions at scale. We believe the Olympics will be a defining moment for digital video and we are proud to play a role.

The “NBC Olympics Live Extra” and “NBC Olympics” apps will provide a huge variety of content – from live streams of all competitive events to short video highlights, medal ceremonies, interviews, news stories and more. We’re thrilled that both apps are powered by a series of products and technologies from Adobe, which made it possible for NBC Olympics to more easily bring them to a wide range of mobile and tablet platforms and devices.

Adobe creative tools, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flash Builder, Flex and others, were used to design and build the apps. With Adobe AIR, our runtime for Flash content outside web browsers, NBC Olympics is able to leverage existing code to ensure a consistent content and video playback experience across devices without having to develop the apps natively for each platform. By integrating support for Adobe Pass, NBC Olympics is using the industry’s leading “TV Everywhere” authentication technology used by virtually all operators in the U.S. You simply provide the login and password of your pay-TV subscription to access live broadcast streams of over 3500 hours of Olympic events. To make it as easy as possible, you only need to go through the sign-in once and won’t have to “re-authenticate” every time you want to watch a live event.

NBC Olympics is also taking advantage of Adobe technologies to measure and monetize content in both apps. Advertising onto mobile devices will be served via Adobe Auditude, our video ad management and monetization platform. Auditude will work in conjunction with other existing NBC ad serving systems and is used by major brands worldwide like Comcast, Major League Baseball, Fox News, E! Entertainment, Dailymotion and others. SiteCatalyst, our flagship product for digital analytics, allows NBC Olympics to measure user traffic and engagement across both apps for live video streams, ads and video-on-demand (VOD) content for iOS and Android devices. This enables NBC Olympics to quickly optimize the app experience based on viewer behavior.

A few other great things I wanted to highlight: Each app is interconnected, so you can easily launch one of the apps from within the other to streamline usability. Both apps offer social media integration that lets you share and communicate with friends via Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus as the Games happen in London. You can also set reminders for your favorite sport events, and, pause or rewind.

Check out this video for more information about the apps and how Adobe and NBC Olympics is taking the 2012 Olympics beyond the TV and offering a whole new experience across mobile devices:

A Digital Video Inflection Point

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to speak about the digital video landscape at conferences with BeetTV, VideoNuze, and Brightcove, and I wanted to share some observations.

Digital video is experiencing an unprecedented outpouring of attention, innovation and creative energy. Even with the challenges that come with any emerging business opportunity, there are many reasons why digital video is at an inflection point and poised for extraordinary growth. Here are five:

1. Consumer behavior is changing in fundamental ways. Individuals are being empowered with devices, like tablets and gaming consoles, which offer the ability to more easily consume media. Over three-quarters of US adults will watch video monthly by 2014, and professional content consumption is currently growing at three times that of user-generated content. Markets respond to consumer-led trends, and this one shows no sign of slowing down.

2. The critical path items for digital video are known. Recently one of the largest global media companies told us that they employ five engineers for mobile video delivery for every one engineer they employ for desktop video. That 5-to-1 ratio isn’t scalable or sustainable. While all critical path items are not yet solved, hurdles, like device fragmentation, improving user experience, and developing better metrics to buy and prove the value of video advertising are being tackled actively.

3. Monetization possibilities are evident and evolving. In a recent survey, consumers between the ages of 15 and 24 — tomorrow’s mainstream — were the most likely to engage with digital video advertising, suggesting that individuals are growing increasingly comfortable with ads while watching TV on desktops and devices. Digital video ad loads are still small relative to TV, pointing to a monetization multiplier effect as more professional content comes online. A recent study also shows the growing popularity of paid media consumption on tablets: 18% of consumers use tablets for viewing paid video content, up from 11% a year ago. We are heading toward a perfect storm of monetization opportunity.

4. Major programmers and operators are leaning forward. Large media companies are motivated by consumers’ desire and ability to access content in new ways, and are responding with innovative tools like the Xfinity App for iPad. For several major upcoming sporting events, you¹re going to see creative partnerships between broadcasters, distributors and Adobe that allow viewers to access content (live and VOD) across different platforms and device types.

5. Advertising Follows Engaged audiences – and Digital Video Engages. Proprietary research from Adobe Auditude shows that mid-roll video ads, the most engaging commercial position, easily outperform completion rates of pre-rolls and post-rolls. With an 87% completion rate, mid-rolls are performing close to 30% better. Professional content with engaging, TV-like ad experiences represents tremendous opportunity. The creative possibilities for better digital video and mobile advertising experiences are endless, and exciting.

To position Adobe’s customers on the leading end of these evolving trends, we are thrilled to be continuing our work building Project Primetime. Adobe’s Project Primetime helps media companies bring their linear, live and VOD content online to any connected device with greater revenues from ads and subscriptions. By combining Adobe’s streaming, protection, advertising and analytics technologies, Adobe is in a unique position to address the most significant challenges that will enable the transformation of digital video.

Primetime Simulcast Helps Bridge TV and Digital Ads

We all sense it, and the numbers support it. By the end of 2014, 200MM U.S. Internet users (76%) will regularly watch video online (source: eMarketer). Further, the number of mobile videos viewed by consumers has already grown at an impressive clip in the last year, and is forecasted to increase 160% in 2012 (source: Nielsen).

Audiences are increasingly viewing TV content on more devices, but broadcasters and network operators are challenged to evolve their business models fast enough. Media company customers tell us every day about their frustrations attempting to deliver and monetize content through IP-connected devices. Device fragmentation, multiple streaming protocols, different encryption methods, difficulty in inserting mid-stream ads, and the need to build players for multiple devices all contribute to higher-than necessary operating costs and a poor viewing experience for video audiences.

Today, in an industry-first, we announced Primetime Simulcast as a new advancement to Project Primetime. As media companies broadcast their linear content, Primetime Simulcast provides a single end-to-end workflow that enables them to simultaneously deliver that same content to connected devices everywhere while seamlessly replacing ads in the broadcast stream with dynamically inserted ads across desktop, iOS, and Android platforms. With this announcement, we also unveiled Adobe Media Server 5 and Adobe Access 4 to give media companies a single video publishing and DRM workflow that reaches 98 percent of desktops and all iOS, Android and connected TV devices. In addition, Adobe unveiled the next version of Adobe Auditude to more easily insert and measure online video ads.

As media companies deliver on the multi-screen promise to their audiences, Adobe is proud to help them increase revenue and decrease operating costs so that they can build effective businesses in digital video and improve the viewer experience. To explain Primetime Simulcast further, Ashley Still, director of product management at Adobe, walks you through the latest move forward for Project Primetime and demonstrates how these improvements allow media companies to advance professional video for publishers, advertisers and consumers.

If you’re at the Cable Show and want to see a live demo of Project Primetime or HLS Streaming with Adobe Media Server 5 and Access 4, stop by and see us at Elemental’s booth #2253.

New revenue opportunities for media companies and advertisers as similarities between broadcast and digital video advertising grow

Today, at the NAB Conference in Las Vegas, we released a study highlighting key trends in online ad engagement and monetization within digital video content. Among several important insights, strong user ad engagement across connected devices shows that online video ad viewing within professional content mirrors that of traditional broadcast television.

Online mid-roll ads, which are much like traditional TV commercial breaks, outperform pre-roll ads by almost 30 percent, suggesting that viewers are engaged by a more TV-like ad experience online. Similarly, more than 5 video ads are served during long-form, professional content. Judging by the 70 percent completion rate of these ads, viewers are more willing to watch ads through their entirety in exchange for the professional content they desire. Live content continues to drive higher engagement rates, at 85 percent, when compared to video-on-demand content.

The next five years will bring a dramatic shift in the media landscape affecting all constituents – consumers, media companies and advertisers – as digital video viewing habits evolve, partially driven by the proliferation of connected devices. Nearly 100 million adults, 48 percent of all adult internet users, will use an internet connection to watch TV programs in the next three years. Over the same period of time, two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video, and serving ads into mobile video will become a critical revenue opportunity for publishers. From a video advertising perspective, this report showed engagement with TV-like ads on mobile devices had the highest engagement rates at 94%.

The results of the report demonstrate the revenue opportunities for media companies and advertisers as they take greater advantage of professional content online. If you are at NAB this week, stop by our booth (2624 South Hall), where we are demonstrating Adobe’s Project Primetime, our solution for turning linear content into seamless, TV-like experiences across IP connected devices by integrating Adobe’s publishing, advertising and analytics capabilities.

Co-existence, Not Cannibalization

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage at Adobe’s Digital Marketing Summit with Prateek Alsi from Time Warner Cable Media. In a fireside chat format (which seemed a bit out of context because it was 70 degrees in Salt Lake City this week!), we explored the state of digital video.  As you know from your own media consumption habits (or watching any child with an iPad or smartphone), online video viewing is growing. Most market research shows that over the next 5 years the number of people watching online video could grow as much as 50% and represent up to three quarters of all internet-enabled users. A lot of this increased appetite for digital video is fueled by the proliferation of connected devices – smartphones, tablets, connected TV’s and gaming consoles. Connected devices will become as ubiquitous as TV’s in the house.  So, one may think that broadcasters, operators and programmers feel threatened by this trend.  Quite the contrary. Most industry folks that I talk with, including my very knowledgeable fireside co-presenter, or clients that we work with, like Major League Baseball, are embracing the trend and charting strategies to take advantage of the opportunity. Those strategies include one that I am particularly fond of – providing access to and dynamically inserting video ads into content on any connected device.

There is a good reason why they are and should be embracing this trend. Online video viewing will not be at the expense of TV. It’s complementary. Total media consumption is growing and will continue to grow as it becomes more efficient and convenient for a viewer to access content where, when and how they desire. Simply said, TV (linear) and digital video viewing is about co-existence, not cannibalization. Given that fact, there are tremendous opportunities for content owners and distributors to better engage and monetize their audiences. And, this is where Adobe is focused.

There are a number of challenges to be addressed in this co-existence strategy, like cross platform measurement, multi-channel ad buying, cross-platform ad experiences, and improving user experience across devices, but we’ll leave those topics for another time. Until then, let the cross-channel collaborative thinking begin.

Confession of an Ad Guy

I have a confession to make. I’ve been in the digital ad business since 1999 – a long time by internet standards – and my entire perspective on what makes the digital world go round has been advertising. The reality, especially in digital video, is that is wrong.

I didn’t realize the challenges until I became the CEO of Auditude and was hit smack in the face by the many hurdles limiting our customer’s ability to monetize their content – well before an ad is sold, trafficked, or served. In fact, there is a lot of work that goes into creating and serving up the content before you can even think about monetizing it with ads – and if the ad guys like me aren’t working with their content counterparts – the opportunity that online video advertising represents will never come to fruition.

My point is – it’s time for the digital industry to break out of its silos. Media companies and publishers have been forced to piece together best-of-breed point solutions, make their own investments in technology to fill the gaps and/or build the bridges, and then hope their partners work together. This has made it inefficient and difficult for media companies and publishers to maximize the value of content they want to bring online – putting them at a huge disadvantage in a world of disruption.

This is the exact problem Adobe addresses with the announcement of Project Primetime.   By seamlessly combining publishing, advertising and analytics into a single platform, many of the inefficiencies mentioned above are addressed. Project Primetime breaks down the silo’ed walls that have existed to help media companies and publishers more efficiently and effectively deliver and monetize their digital content across connected devices.

When I shared this vision with a room full of digital advertising executives yesterday at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, there was much agreement with the challenges in bringing more digital content online and there was great positive response to the Project Primetime vision and demo we shared. From an advertising perspective (here I go again with my advertising-centric perspective :)), the benefits include:

  • A better viewer experience, which aids content and ad engagement
  • More scalable deliver of ads to connected devices
  • Combining content and ad analytics to provide revenue-based insights

In less than 4 months since announcing its acquisition of Auditude, Adobe has begun to deliver on an integrated vision it is uniquely positioned to solve; moving swiftly into helping monetize content and delivering a platform that will benefit those companies looking to bring more content online.