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)

Adobe Primetime & Turner Broadcasting: “Scale and Execution, Exactly Like TV”

As a lifelong sports fan, I get excited about working alongside the world’s largest media companies to make it easier for viewers like me to watch more events on more screens.

When Adobe Primetime first launched, we helped NBC Sports and the BBC bring the London 2012 Olympic Games to viewers everywhere. Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass (formerly Adobe Pass) has been instrumental in bringing the 2012 and 2013 NCAA basketball tournament to college hoops fans. Now we’re helping deliver NBA games to viewers who want to check in with their favorite teams and players when they’re not in front of a TV set.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve continued our work with Turner, rolling out dynamic ad insertion in NBA games streamed to TNTDrama.com, TNT’s mobile apps, and and TNT Overtime, showcasing Adobe’s deep expertise in live TV broadcasting to devices and desktops.

Outside the sporting arena, as it were, we’ve also helped enable the AdultSwim, Cartoon Network and TruTV apps for linear simulcast programming. A recent article in Adweek highlighted some of the innovative work the Adobe Primetime team has been doing with Turner to drive more revenue by expanding their breadth of advertising opportunities across screens, at scale.

The Adobe Primetime team is continuing to expand the product offering’s capabilities to address additional business needs and use cases. We look forward to working with more broadcasters, cable companies, satellite providers, telcos and industry partners to help make every screen a TV. As Seth Ladetsky, SVP for Turner digital ad sales commented to AdWeek regarding the development of digital ad opportunities, “If you look at the scale and execution, this is going to be exactly like TV.”

NBA-on-TNT

Adobe Featured on the Streaming Media 100

I’m pleased to share that Adobe is once again featured on the “Streaming Media 100 (SM100): The One Hundred Companies that Matter Most in Online Video in 2013.” Now in its third year, we’re thrilled to be recognized on the SM100 alongside so many respected industry players as “doing the most interesting and innovative work in streaming video.” With Adobe Primetime, we’re helping MSOs and programmers reach viewers on any IP-connected screen, creating more value for pay-TV service and strengthening brand affinity for content owners. The Streaming Media judges noted that the SM100 recognizes companies with “online video in their DNA” and that definitely holds true for Adobe given our industry-leading video solutions – from our video creation tools within Adobe Creative Cloud to Adobe Primetime. Thanks to Streaming Media for recognizing Adobe for the third year in a row with a spot on the SM100.

SM100-2013If you’re attending Streaming Media West next month in Huntington Beach, California, stop by my panel on Tuesday, Nov. 19: “The State of Over-The-Top Video and TV Everywhere Rollouts.” I’ll be speaking on the panel with DirecTV, LG Electronics, and Sling Media about the state of over-the-top (OTT) and TV Everywhere rollouts. It should be an interesting and engaging discussion so I hope to see you there!

Statement on Google Chrome Phasing Out the NPAPI Plug-In Interface

This week, the Google Chrome team announced it is phasing out the NPAPI plug-in interface, which has a direct impact on the functionality of major browsers plugins. Since it migrated from the NPAPI interface to the modern Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI), Adobe Flash Player is not affected by this change.

Video-specific functionality such as Adobe Primetime DRM (formerly Adobe Access) and Adobe Primetime Player SDKs are also not affected. There is no migration work required, as Chrome browser users have already been using the PPAPI version of Adobe Flash Player.

Chrome browser users will automatically receive new features and security updates due to the integration of Adobe Flash Player with Chrome, which permits seamless background updates.

For DRM-related questions or feedback, please visit the Adobe Primetime Community Forum.

Adobe Primetime Continues to Drive TV Everywhere Momentum

Today we are announcing some great momentum for Adobe Primetime PayTV Pass (formerly Adobe Pass), as well as for the overall industry movement of TV Everywhere. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.) is the latest Adobe Primetime customer delivering TV across screens as a leader in driving TV Everywhere adoption. To date, TV Everywhere has experienced bursts of success with large scale events like the Olympics and March Madness, but there has not been a critical mass of everyday use. That is now starting to change with more premium content coming online (both live linear and VOD), an increasing shift in viewership from traditional TV to online, and greater opportunities for content owners to monetize those online views thanks to innovative technologies such as Adobe Primetime.

In comparing the first half of 2013 with the same period last year, Adobe Digital Index has seen a 400% increase in authenticated streams, and the total number of Adobe Primetime PayTV Pass-enabled websites and apps has doubled across devices from 50 to more than 100. Online video consumption habits are definitely changing given the ever expanding breadth of devices and platforms – with tablets alone accounting for a 150% increase in video starts from Q2 2012 to Q2 2013. Web, iOS, and Android still represent the bulk of consumption, but other connected devices such as Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, and Smart TVs are rapidly gaining traction. Our data shows that 16% of U.S. households are watching pay-TV online as of September 2013 – representing more than100% growth since December 2012. We delivered 29.3 billion video streams to Adobe customers in Q3 2013 – up 124% year-over-year.

The conversations we are now having with our customers also suggest that the tipping point for mass TV Everywhere adoption is upon us. Whereas phase one of TV Everywhere was about “checking the box” to appease the pay TV operators, our programmer customers and pay TV partners alike are now focusing on growth with an emphasis on content discoverability, device expansion, and user experience. And most telling in my opinion, we are now getting considerable interest in our upcoming fraud limiting services to ensure people aren’t sharing credentials or otherwise trying to game the system. Considering the early critics questioned whether the traffic would come at all, it’s a nice twist that too much consumption has now become a concern!

Adobe&BroadcastWe’re thrilled to see increased momentum around TV Everywhere on the rise with Adobe Primetime helping pave the way for success. Within two years, we expect TV Everywhere will advance with:

  • Every major TV channel having a TV Everywhere presence via websites or apps
  • The reported 40% of Internet-connect TVs in U.S. households (LGR Research) will actually be in use
  • Content authentication being fully automated – removing consumers from the process

We also found that mobile video viewing is up more than 2x year-over-year (YoY). Consumers of video content via mobile devices are on the rise (see graphs below). An Adobe Digital Index review of 1 billion video starts to 50 branded sites shows that mobile video viewing is up 134% YoY with tablets growing the fastest up 150% YoY.

ADI - Share of Video StartsThe growing mobile audience provides incremental engagement and revenue opportunities for advertising. Tablet viewers, in particular, are early adopters who typically spend more money, book more trips, and consume more media content. Publishers can capitalize on this target audience with high CPMs (Cost Per thousand Impressions) and incremental impressions. Publishers may also consider creating more mobile-specific content to promote the use of mobile devices and further train consumers to use companion devices while watching a show live or online.

We’ve said that 2013 would be the year that TV Everywhere takes off and our forecast is holding true. Stay tuned for more updates and momentum coming as we head into 2014!

Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service and Hardware DRM Support

Today, we announced two exciting new features to the Adobe Primetime DRM (formerly Adobe Access) offering. 1) Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service, and 2) Hardware DRM support on AMD chipsets. DRM is a critical component to enable premium content in early release windows on the web and across mobile devices. This means earlier access to better content for viewers.

Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service

The Primetime Cloud DRM Service makes Primetime DRM easy to deploy. A DRM server requires security knowledge and hardware to be properly installed in a data center environment to fulfill compliance and robustness requirements. DRM deployments now get significantly easier with our new Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service.

This new service is completely managed by Adobe, including robust security through hardware Security Modules (HSMs), redundancy, and scalable architecture are always up-to-date with the compliance and robustness rules. With the Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service, a customer doesn’t need to worry about content delivery because they are out of compliance. Instead, customers can focus on creating and distributing the most engaging content. 

The Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service also dramatically simplifies the DRM operations. Once subscribed, the only step required is local DRM packaging of the content. Adobe Primetime DRM supports desktop, Android, iOS, XBox, Roku and Digital Home devices, and provides broad reach with a single DRM workflow.

Hardware DRM Support on AMD Chipsets

Adobe and AMD partnered in bringing the next level of content protection to desktop computers with AMD APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) or discreet GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). Hardware DRM increases the level of DRM security and robustness. Adobe and AMD believe this is better for consumers, programmers and distributors.

AMD_E_RGBTo learn more about Adobe Primetime DRM, please visit our website.

M6 Group, Leading TV Programmer in France, Adopts Adobe Primetime to Extend TV Experiences Beyond the Living Room

Speaking with a broad range of the largest television programmers and MSOs recently at IBC and dmexco, it’s clear that consumers across the UK and continental Europe are hungry to watch television and film across devices.

We’re excited to announce that M6 Group, a leading French television broadcaster and member of RTL Group, has selected Adobe Primetime to support its Android-based applications for smartphones and tablet devices. iOS support powered by Adobe Primetime is expected to be available later this year, along with other platforms in the future. With Adobe Primetime, M6 Group can easily and securely deliver simulcast, live and on-demand TV content from its top networks to its customers via mobile apps across devices. We are thrilled to work with M6 Group as our first major TV programmer in France bringing its leading TV brands to audiences across mobile platforms.

(From left to right, M6, W9 and 6ter screenshots from M6 Group’s Android applications, now available for download. Images courtesy of Google Play.)

(From left to right, M6, W9 and 6ter screenshots from M6 Group’s Android applications, now available for download. Images courtesy of Google Play.)

M6 Group, which serves nearly a quarter of the broadcast audience in France, has incorporated some of Adobe Primetime’s components across three of its properties: M6, France’s second most popular channel for viewers under 50; W9, a channel with content for young adults; and 6ter, a channel featuring broad content for the whole family. M6 Group is implementing various Adobe Primetime capabilities, including the Adobe Primetime Player and DRM to provide the best viewing experience of protected premium content. Consumers in France running devices with Android version 2.3.3 and higher can download these applications today to watch content live and on-demand. Future deployments of Adobe Primetime for M6 Group’s iOS applications are expected later this year along with added integration of Adobe Primetime’s ad insertion component.

[UPDATED, 9/25/13] Check out the video testimonial on Adobe Primetime from M6 Group below and stay tuned for more Adobe Primetime updates coming soon!

Why should you work in the open?

Recently, I have been reflecting on, discussing and writing about open source. After the publication of an article on the Wired web site, one of my colleagues, Kristofer Joseph, came to me and essentially said: “I think there is something about open source that your article does not cover, that is important and that people often miss”. Of course, Kristofer had my full attention with that introduction. So we talked more and Kristofer went on to explain that he felt that the ‘working in the open’ part of the open source culture was either overlooked or not understood. I think he is right so, let’s talk about that. Why open source often means working in the open (it should)? Why is it important?

Raising standards

When you work in an open source project, your code is visible by anyone. Not only your source code, but every single code commits you make and every interaction (comments, issue tracker, mailing list) you have with the community. There is no hiding in open source. Your contributions and interactions paint a living memory of your persona.

You have to show your true color and that is why open source is a meritocracy and not a status based culture. Your work speaks for yourself. That typically makes people raise their standards, strive for excellence and I am convinced that the open collaboration explains a large part of the open source software’s success.

Get early and constant feedback

If you work in the open, you can interact with people as you develop your code. In a way, it is related to the lean start-up model that is geared towards early customer feedback that allows quick iteration and course correction. Transposed to an open source project, working in the open is letting you be lean: your customers, people who might use your project, can see on-going project, try early versions of the software and comment. You can also reach out to them to ask for opinions, preferences or guidance. You can experiment fairly quickly and validate or invalidate hypothesis you have.

A great example of early and constant feedback is the work that Kristofer and his team do on the Topcoat project. By working in the open, we have made a lot of design choices and course correction, thanks to the feedback we got from our bleeding edge users.

But working in the open has its traps. As Kristofer mentioned, it is not always understood.

Working in the open means good and bad work in progress is shared

People not familiar with open source sometimes have the expectation that it should be like a product from a commercial company. So if I get code from the project, and if it is not perfect, then there is disappointment.

This is where open source project are usually careful at setting expectations and try to guide their users, making it clear where to get a stable build, versus a development version or a beta build. For example, you can get nightly builds of WebKit and by the design of that version of the project, it is clear it is work in progress.

The best open source projects use continuous integration to get natural quality assurance on their code for building, testing, coverage and performance regressions, which helps maintain high standards even for in-progress work.

Working in the open means that you can implement your own wishes!

Another thing which sometimes happens is that people would expect that they can interact with an open source project like they do with a vendor. If there is a feature that I want, they I should demand that it be added. It works a bit differently in open source.

Of course, projects typically welcome suggestions or requests for features. That is part of getting feedback and guidance from the users. But if you really want something to happen on your schedule, the best approach is to actually contribute to the project and start engaging and contributing to the effort. A lot of individuals and companies do that routinely with a lot of success, for example around the Eclipse open source project.

So, why work in the open? Not just for open source!

Working in the open makes your project run like a start-up trying to get constant feedback, reacting to demand quickly and adjusting course as needed. It makes you and your team raise your standards. It means that you have to set expectations properly too, but that is ok. And it also allows you to welcome contributions to your project, making it more valuable than you could on your own. So Kristofer is right, this is all important!

A final, important point: working in the open can also be done for non ‘open-source’ projects. It is an approach you can take for internal project and even very large companies such as SAP have been able to implement that successfully, as Dirk Riehle described in his research.

Adobe Primetime and Level 3 Score Match Point By Powering Tennis Channel and the U.S. Open

For passionate tennis fans, the U.S. Open has been top of mind for the past two weeks. The annual event culminated with Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams taking the Men’s and Women’s titles, respectively. With all the competitive matches leading up to the crown, tennis fans have been tuning into the Open – and not just on TV. Tennis Channel, which has telecast rights to the U.S. Open, has also been streaming the event online and across Android and iOS devices – powered by Adobe Primetime.

Established in 2003, Tennis Channel is the only 24-hour, TV-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network houses every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, and is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.

This summer, Tennis Channel decided to live stream the U.S. Open across desktops, iOS and Android devices to deliver a true TV experience for tennis fans on any screen. To make this possible, Tennis Channel selected Adobe Primetime and the Level 3 Video Cloud to broadcast the U.S. Open live via “Tennis Channel Everywhere” apps. Adobe Primetime enabled Tennis Channel to deploy apps for Linear Simulcast quickly and efficiently – using unified, multiscreen publishing, authentication (DRM), ad insertion, and analytics. The Level 3 Video Cloud provided the acquisition, encoding, packaging, and CDN delivery of content. By leveraging Adobe Primetime, Tennis Channel can reach more tennis fans, extend its brand, and reduce operational overhead by leveraging existing broadcast workflows.

It’s been great working with the Tennis Channel and Level 3. From the London 2012 Olympic Games to the 2013 U.S. Open Tennis Championships, Adobe Primetime continues to deliver broad availability of TV content across screens, synchronized viewing experiences across devices and TV, and greater revenue for TV programmers and operators. Stay tuned for more news and updates around Adobe Primetime coming soon.

Tennis Channel_US Open

Independent game developer successfully ports Adobe AIR game from mobile and tablet to console

Mat Dickie, independent game developer known for his work in the wrestling niche, has taken his retro-style mobile and tablet game, Wrestling Revolution, to the console. Created using Adobe Game Developer Tools and downloaded more than one million times across Android and iOS, Wrestling Revolution offers players the biggest wrestling universe with more than 350 characters – and dozens of them in the ring at one time. Now available on the new OUYA console, Wresting Revolution can now be enjoyed by fans on their TV, the genre’s natural home.

Mat

OUYA provides an open development experience so that, like Dickie, any creator can publish a game for a console to be played on TVs.

“I was excited about bringing the gamepad-controlled, multi-player experience to consoles. Wrestling games have a proud history on consoles from the NES and SNES to the N64 and PlayStation. But those doors can be hard to open for an independent developer like me,” he says. “Consoles are the genre’s natural home, so on OUYA I’m reaching new audiences that don’t typically play PC or mobile games. What I like most about it is that I have a stable platform for the first time in my career, and I know that players will have the same experience as me.”

In taking Wrestling Revolution to the OUYA platform, Dickie made sure that it wasn’t just a mobile port to the console. The game fully supports controllers of all kinds—right down to analogue sticks for precise movement. The multi-player modes are also exclusive to consoles. There’s an option to play in either “Versus” or “Co-Op” mode, which will involve up to four human players.

Wrestling Revolution is just one of the first Adobe AIR games on OUYA,” he says. “Some perceptive AIR developers had everything in place ahead of OUYA’s launch which helped me get going quickly.”

Wrestling Revolution climbed over 200 places in OUYA’s O-Rank in its first week of release and jumped into the top 50 games in its second week. The game is being downloaded hundreds of times per day with 10% of players opting to purchase the full game.

“The OUYA audience is obviously a lot smaller than on established systems, where over a million people are playing my mobile apps. However, the conversion rate is higher. The OUYA audience likes to invest in games and support their evolution,” says Dickie. “That ensures that my first game won’t be my last.”