Online Video Is Ready for “Primetime”

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.

Prime­time High­lights

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*.

Here’s a video of how it works:

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 24x7 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.


Ashley Still

About Ashley Still

As vice president, Creative Cloud for enterprise, Ashley Still leads product, marketing and business development for Adobe’s flagship offering for enterprise customers. Creative Cloud for enterprise delivers an integrated content creation, collaboration and publishing solution that securely enables brands to create exceptional content needed to engage customers everywhere. Prior to her current role, Ashley was Senior Director of Product & Marketing for Adobe Primetime, an Internet television platform used by Comcast, Turner, NBC Sports and other global media companies to deliver TV content and dynamic advertising to any Internet device. Under Ashley’s leadership, Adobe Primetime won an Emmy Award for the Adobe Pass TV-Everywhere service. Ashley joined Adobe in 2004 and held product management positions for Adobe Photoshop prior to joining the Primetime team. She holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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