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.
Greetings from IBC, one of the largest conferences globally focused on broadcast professionals and the technologies that support them. Check out Adobe’s live coverage of the event.
We’re connecting with European broadcasters and pay TV operators to discuss Project Primetime — what it is, how it benefits media companies in individual markets, and what we’ve learned since launching the project earlier in 2012.
Speaking with current Adobe customers and partners, it’s clear that there’s a need in the marketplace for a unified technology stack that integrates video content publishing, ad serving, and analytics. There’s just too much device fragmentation and too much complexity throughout the ecosystem today. Adobe is working to address key industry pain points.
It’s also clear that many vendors are jumping on the “any content, any device, anytime, anywhere” bandwagon — nearly every technology provider at the conference seems to be offering an “end-to-end solution” that delivers on this promise. I’m not certain what most of these folks are actually capable of executing today, but I do know that Adobe is uniquely positioned to continue innovating in media, with industry-leading products across the entire value chain — from pre-production to post-production, and across streaming, ad decisioning, ad insertion, data management and measurement.
That’s a jargon-heavy way of saying that Adobe gets it, that we’re trying to solve the big problems.
If you happen to be at IBC this Sunday, please drop by our booth in Hall 7 to learn more about Project Primetime. We’re also hosting an invitation-only event on Sunday, September 9, where you can learn more about Adobe’s role in powering the 2012 Summer Olympics for both NBC Sports and the BBC — please register if you’d like to attend.
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.
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.
Version 4.5.2 of Flash Media Server is now available. Besides numerous bug fixes, it includes a major improvement – robust HDS/HLS failover for origins.
It’s not simply a “good-to-have”, but a “must-have” feature for reliable HTTP streaming deployments. The key issues it addresses are liveness and dropout situations.
Liveness is a server-side situation in which a packager advertises a stale bootstrap (that is, a stale view of a live stream).
Dropout is a server-side situation in which a packager has gaps in its bootstrap (that is, gaps in its fragment list).
Flash Media Server 4.5.2 introduces the following new features to address this:
Best-effort fetch enables the OSMF and iOS video players to continue playback as normally as possible in the presence of short-term liveness and dropout problems on the server-side.
The OSMF 2.0 player adds client-side robustness by supporting best-effort fetch. Specifically, when best-effort fetch is enabled on the server, OSMF 2.0 attempts fetches for fragments that have not been advertised in the bootstrap, but are expected to be present.
For iOS Video players, FMS 4.5.2 enables best-effort fetch for HLS as well.
Control plane application
To implement HTTP Streaming failover, it’s now possible to write a client application that manages the state of events and streams by using a set of REST-based control plane APIs. Control plane is a router term and in effect, that is what your client application does through these APIs.
We recently announced the upcoming availability of Adobe Access (formerly Flash Access) DRM protection for native iOS applications. So what does this mean for your workflow?
You can now finally reach a broad range of destination devices with a single, simple workflow, including Windows, OSX, iPad, iPhones, iPods, hundreds of Android smartphones and tablets (Android 2.2+), and televisions, including Samsung Smart TVs, TIVO and LG devices, and soon many more as part of project Primetime.
It not only saves you costs, but also provides a simple, robust DRM workflow, with a single content protection scheme.
Not convinced how this will work? Here are the steps.
1) Real-Time packaging and protection of H.264 source files with Adobe Media Server
2) HTTP delivery to target platforms (HLS to iOS, HDS to other devices)
3) License acquisition from a single Adobe Access server, no matter what the playback platform is
As part of Project Primetime, Adobe is focused on solving the fragmentation challenges video distributors are confronted with in 2012. This is the first step to provide a secure end-to-end video delivery workflow
As part of the quickly evolving device landscape, a unified video publishing workflow is more important than ever. Individual workflows for specific devices or platforms are not a long-term approach. It’s like having to build a different car, depending on the city you want to travel to. It’s expensive and distracts from the important part of your video application, the user experience.
As part of Project Primetime, we are continuing to invest in our own technology and industry standards that enable our video customers to have a single workflow that enables them to reach any web-enabled devices.
What does this mean for you? Instead of having to worry about using different content protection, video delivery or video publishing workflows, Project Primetime will provide a holistic solution, which will make your video strategy uniquely easy to deploy, protect and monetize.
We’re making two announcements today that will bring the industry towards a single video publishing workflow:
Adobe Access for native iOS applications
Adobe Access, our robust Digital Rights Management technology, will support native iOS applications. With Adobe Access’ existing support for desktop (99% reach via Flash Player), Android (via AIR 3.0) and Smart TVs (via AIR for TV 2.5), video publishers can now reach a huge digital audience with a single content protection solution.
Here’s how it works: Adobe provides an Adobe Access DRM library that can be integrated into your native iOS application. You build your experience using the Apple SDK, add the Adobe Access library as a component, and deliver through the Apple App Store. The Adobe Access DRM library provides all the necessary robustness. The video content is streamed using Apple’s HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) protocol, and Adobe Access provides the content protection required by studios.
We are announcing that our streaming technologies will support the emerging standard MPEG-DASH. It will provide the reach and flexibility required for a unified video workflow. It will not replace, but provide additional reach to existing Adobe streaming protocols. You can read more about our announcement here.
We are very excited about these announcements, which are first steps to provide a unified video publishing workflow that will offer the best reach, protection and monetization for video content.
We are excited to announce Project Primetime, Adobe’s integrated video technology platform to enable smooth, TV-like experiences for ad-supported videos across Web-connected devices.
Primetime creates a single workflow for premium video publishers and media companies that interconnects Adobe streaming technologies, content protection, analytics and optimization with the recently acquired Auditude video advertising platform.
By integrating content publishing, advertising, and analytics – video publishers will be able to give consumers a superior viewing experience through seamless dynamic ad insertion into any content type, whether linear, live or on-demand across Web-connected devices. Adobe Digital Marketing Suite is integral to Primetime, ensuring that media companies are able to combine consumption and revenue data to increase the relevance of their content and ads.
The Industry Needs Integrated Video Solution to Bring Content and Ad Dollars Online
The adoption of web-enabled devices by consumers over the past few years has been staggering. Between desktop computers, tablets, smart phones, game consoles, and SmartTVs, consumers have at their fingertips billions of devices that can deliver media experiences over the Internet.
And, advertisers have long shown their desire to reach audiences in engaging experiences like video. The “offline” TV advertising market will be $200+ B by 2014. Within online advertising, advertisers want to shift spending video. A recent eMarketer report (June 2011) forecasts video growing from about 14% to over 32% of total digital advertising spending by 2015, taking market share from both banner and rich media advertising.
The audience is enabled, the advertiser is interested – so why is less than 5% of professionally produced content available online?
1. The user experience for audiences viewing video ads today is inferior to television. I don’t know about you – but my TV attached to my set top box doesn’t buffer between the programming and the ads. But, with online video, the processing required to load client heavy advertising plug-ins often triggers that flickering circle. And who wants to wait for an ad to buffer? No one – and that’s a problem for viewers, publishers and advertisers alike.
Primetime eliminates the need for heavy advertising plug-ins by moving more of the processing to the cloud, which means no more flickering circles waiting for ads to load, whether you’re on a desktop or mobile device. It feels like what you see on TV, but on any device.
2. Connected devices are fragmented. My set top box could connect to any TV and playback the same content stream from my PayTV provider. But online the opposite is true. Every device platform supports largely different technology – making it complex and expensive for publishers to build video experiences for every device. Today, publishers have to make hard tradeoffs on which devices to support – which reduces their audience size and revenue potential
Primetime enables a single workflow to reach the majority of web-enabled device platforms, whether smartphone, tablet, game console, desktop or SmartTV.
3. Inserting ads into connected devices is hard. Connected device platforms have introduced new technologies and workflows for streaming video content – where ad insertion has not been well defined. Creating scalable models for inserting ads into connected devices is exacerbated by the lower processing power of connected devices, versus desktop computers.
Primetime enables both server-side and client-side integrations of content and ads that allow for efficient and scalable delivery of monetizable video content.
4. Ad and content analytics are siloed. Video publishers typically use separate systems (usually from different companies) to measure how their audiences engaged with content from how their audiences engaged with ads. This impairs visibility into the correlation between audience engagement with content and ad revenue.
Primetime combines site-side analytics from Adobe’s Digital Marketing Suite with ad analytics from Auditude to provide revenue-base analytics used to increase revenue and engagement.
In short – through an integrated content and advertising workflow and better data-driven monetization, Project Primetime will empower the content and ad ecosystem, which will make it possible for more content to flow online.
As part of the first phase of Primetime, we are showcasing Primetime Highlights, which enables video publishers to create and publish live event highlights, with ads, in minutes.
Event highlights are a great way to show the power of integrating video publishing and advertising. First, viewers only watch highlights for a few hours after events occur. If you can’t quickly publish and monetize a highlight, it’s not worth creating it. Second, user experience really matters with short form content – viewers are more likely to abandon if there is buffering, etc.
How does it work? We’ve created a highlight tool that is tightly integrated with the Auditude ad platform. The highlight tool lets you set the in and out points of the clip, and add metadata like title, genre, etc. Once you hit publish, the Auditude platform automatically knows that ad inventory is available, and can target ads based on the metadata entered in the highlight tool. To make this even easier to implement, we are also providing a full video player*.
After acquiring Auditude about three months ago, we are thrilled to be bringing Primetime to market to accelerate online video, starting with Primetime Highlights. Expect us to be equally aggressive in supporting 24×7 linear, on-demand, and live with more announcements coming throughout 2012.
Check back tomorrow for Jens Loeffler’s take on our Adobe Access support for iOS. And, for more insight into our MPEG-DASH announcement, see Kevin Towes’ blog post here.
Today, Adobe and Sony are excited to announce the winners of the ‘Adobe® AIR® App Challenge, Sponsored by Sony’. The contest launched in July to drive the creation of breakthrough Flash based apps powered by Adobe AIR for the Android-based Sony Tablet™ S and Sony Tablet™ P. The winners will receive a cash prize plus premium promotion* of their app for Sony Tablet S and Sony Tablet P via Sony’s Select App, the website with a shortcut icon on the tablets’ home-screen to highlight Sony-recommended Android™ apps.
Hundreds of entries were received from developers in eligible countries, including Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and USA. The winning apps in five categories (excluding ‘MAX Public Favorite’) were selected by a panel of Adobe and Sony judges and industry experts. Submitted apps were judged based on quality and performance on Sony Tablet S and Sony Tablet P, innovation and creativity, and overall user experience. All apps are now live and available for download from Android Market™ – visit the links below. Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who submitted an app!
List of Winning Applications by Category
Grand Prize ($100,000 US): Tweet Hunt, by RED Interactive Agency
Tweet Hunt is a classic shooting gallery game powered by Twitter.
Best Game ($20,000 US): Conveyor, by drMikeyStudios
Conveyor is an addictive word game – race the clock to score the most points!
Transform your tablet into a useful stand with date & clock, weather forecast and top stories from more than 50 countries. (Announced last month at MAX 2011, Adobe’s annual developer and designer conference, based on a public vote from the ten applications selected for the Adobe MAX Showcase prizes).
The Android-powered Sony Tablet S and Sony Tablet P devices combine all of Sony’s innovations rolled into one including unique hardware, content and network services with seamless usability to create a world of engaging networked entertainment experiences.
Sony Tablet devices are distinguished by four key features that set them apart from any other tablets on the market. These include: optimally designed hardware and software, a “swift and smooth” performance, cross-device connectivity and network entertainment services including Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited, PlayStation® Store and Reader™ Store.
Sony Tablet S is optimized for rich media entertainment on its 9.4-inch touchscreen display and its unique asymmetric design allows for hours of comfortable use. With a powerful NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 mobile processor, the Sony Tablet S lets you enjoy the web as well as your favorite content and applications on its large, high-resolution screen and built-in Wi-Fi® compatibility means Internet connectivity virtually anywhere there’s a hotspot.
Available in 2012 exclusively on AT&T’s mobile broadband network, Sony Tablet P is ideal for mobile communication and entertainment. With its revolutionary folding design and two 5.5-inch displays, it can easily fit into a pocket, purse or backpack. Sony Tablet P is both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G capable allowing users access to digital content including videos, games, and e-mail, while on the go, nearly anytime. Taking advantage of its unprecedented design, Sony Tablet P allows for dual screen functionality within specific applications, , such as playing games on one screen while using the other as a controller or reading e-mail on one screen while using the other as a software keyboard.
Adobe is all about enabling designers and developers to create the most expressive content possible, regardless of platform or technology. For more than a decade, Flash has enabled the richest content to be created and deployed on the web by reaching beyond what browsers could do. It has repeatedly served as a blueprint for standardizing new technologies in HTML. Over the past two years, we’ve delivered Flash Player for mobile browsers and brought the full expressiveness of the web to many mobile devices.
However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.
Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook. We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations. We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.
These changes will allow us to increase investment in HTML5 and innovate with Flash where it can have most impact for the industry, including advanced gaming and premium video. Flash Player 11 for PC browsers just introduced dozens of new features, including hardware accelerated 3D graphics for console-quality gaming and premium HD video with content protection. Flash developers can take advantage of these features, and all that our Flash tooling has to offer, to reach more than a billion PCs through their browsers and to package native apps with AIR that run on hundreds of millions of mobile devices through all the popular app stores, including the iTunes App Store, Android Market, Amazon Appstore for Android and BlackBerry App World.
We are already working on Flash Player 12 and a new round of exciting features which we expect to again advance what is possible for delivering high definition entertainment experiences. We will continue to leverage our experience with Flash to accelerate our work with the W3C and WebKit to bring similar capabilities to HTML5 as quickly as possible, just as we have done with CSS Shaders. And, we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged.
We are super excited about the next generations of HTML5 and Flash. Together they offer developers and content publishers great options for delivering compelling web and application experiences across PCs and devices. There is already amazing work being done that is pushing the newest boundaries, and we can’t wait to see what is still yet to come!
Danny Winokur is the Vice President and General Manager of Interactive Development at Adobe
[UPDATED: 11/15/11 at 6:40 p.m. PT]
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