Major Dynamic Ad Insertion Advancements in MPEG-DASH

Today at Mobile World Con­gress, we announced how recent enhance­ments to Adobe Prime­time will enable dynamic ad inser­tion (DAI) in MPEG-DASH streams using the same work­flows and busi­ness rules that they’ve used to insert ads into HLS streams. The end result is a high-qual­ity, stitched stream of ads and con­tent that can reach view­ers across the wide range of devices and browsers that sup­port MPEG-DASH — includ­ing all HTML5-com­pli­ant browsers. 

For con­sumers, this means they can access more high-qual­ity con­tent (includ­ing HD and 4K) with lower data and band­width usage, and media com­pa­nies can deliver it with lower con­tent deliv­ery net­work (CDN) costs. Adobe Prime­time is the only DAI tech­nol­ogy avail­able in both client- and server-side con­fig­u­ra­tions, allow­ing for max­i­mum reach and deploy­ment flex­i­bil­ity.

We’ve made DAI in MPEG-DASH almost exactly the same as using HLS, with some sig­nif­i­cant advance­ments. Here’s a sum­mary of Adobe Primetime’s use of MPEG-DASH and HLS for ad inser­tion:

  • Cre­ative Repack­ag­ing Ser­vice - Our cre­ative repack­ag­ing works for MPEG-DASH just like it works for HLS. It takes all the same input for­mats and transcodes them to MPEG-DASH for smooth tran­si­tions between con­tent and ads.
    • Com­pli­ance with Ad Inser­tion Rules — Adobe Prime­time fol­lows the same rules that a cus­tomer has for insert­ing ads into MPEG-DASH streams as it does for insert­ing ads into HLS streams. This includes hon­or­ing trick play set­tings, seek set­tings, and ad for­give­ness set­tings, which spec­ify the time­frames around which view­ers should not be exposed to ads.
  • Response to Ad Cues — MPEG-DASH has a unique method of spec­i­fy­ing ad cues, which Adobe Prime­time sup­ports. The method is dif­fer­ent from HLS because it requires pars­ing out cus­tom ad cues from a man­i­fest. Adobe Prime­time man­ages that com­plex­ity.

Get­ting started with DAI in MPEG-DASH streams

Adobe Prime­time is excited to help cus­tomers effec­tively mon­e­tize their pro­gram­ming by com­bin­ing the power of the open MPEG-DASH stan­dard with Adobe Primetime’s advanced ad inser­tion capa­bil­i­ties. For exam­ple, M6 (the largest broad­caster in France), is lever­ag­ing these capa­bil­i­ties to help stream this summer’s UEFA Euro­pean Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship across screens. Please con­tact the Adobe Prime­time team to get started with DAI into MPEG-DASH streams.

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Adobe Primetime & HTML5 for OTT Television and Film

As we announced at IBC this past Sep­tem­ber, Adobe Prime­time sup­ports the deploy­ment of live, lin­ear and on-demand OTT expe­ri­ences to HTML5 envi­ron­ments across screens. Our TVSDK for HTML5 applies Adobe’s exper­tise in video solu­tions to the open HTML5 stan­dard. It extends reach and mon­e­ti­za­tion of pre­mium video expe­ri­ences across the mobile web, includ­ing to mobile web browsers on iOS and Android devices. This enables engag­ing video expe­ri­ences on mobile devices with­out forc­ing view­ers into apps. In turn, this allows mobile pub­lish­ers to deliver more of what peo­ple want on the mobile web and increase the amount of time view­ers spend on their mobile web­sites. TVSDK for HTML5 also works with HTML5-com­pli­ant desk­top browsers and over-the-top (OTT) devices. 

There are sev­eral advan­tages to lever­ag­ing Adobe’s sup­port for HTML5. First, TVSDK for HTML5 sup­ports all the same stream­lined work­flows that are part of Adobe Prime­time. Sec­ond, Adobe Prime­time cus­tomers still get TVSDK 2.0, with our lat­est enhance­ments to the TVSDK, as a fall­back solu­tion where HTML5 is not sup­ported and TVSDK 2.0 is sup­ported.

By lever­ag­ing TVSDK 2.0 and TVSDK for HTML5, Adobe Prime­time cus­tomers can achieve the great­est pos­si­ble reach across screens avail­able any­where.

Deliv­er­ing OTT TV and Film Expe­ri­ences with TVSDK for HTML5

TVSDK for HTML5 con­trols access to pre­mium video con­tent by invok­ing the dig­i­tal rights man­age­ment (DRM) of the browser or plat­form that the con­sumer is using. For Mozilla Fire­fox ver­sion 38 and up, this means invok­ing the Adobe Prime­time Con­tent Decryp­tion Mod­ule (CDM), which is an imple­men­ta­tion of the Encrypted Media Exten­sions (EME) spec­i­fi­ca­tion, and can be used in con­junc­tion with the Media Source Exten­sions (MSE) spec­i­fi­ca­tion. For other browsers and plat­forms, TVSDK for HTML5 invokes whichever CDM is avail­able to play­back encrypted media, whether that is Google’s Widevine in Chrome, Microsoft PlayReady in Inter­net Explorer or Edge, or Apple’s Fair­Play Stream­ing in Safari.

Browser sup­port for the play­back of pro­tected video con­tent in an HTML5 envi­ron­ment is at an all time high. Accord­ing to Decem­ber 2015 data from netmarketshare.com, 68% of monthly active desk­top browsers already sup­port HTML5 through EME and MSE imple­men­ta­tions. How­ever, this still means that 32% of desk­top browsers can’t play pro­tected video con­tent in an HTML5 envi­ron­ment. So, it’s cru­cial to have the desk­top fall­back solu­tion that’s pro­vided by TVSDK 2.0.

Deploy­ing to more screens in the future

In the future, HTML5 through EME and MSE will open up new pos­si­bil­i­ties for oper­a­tors and pro­gram­mers to get on even more screens. It pro­vides a generic spec­i­fi­ca­tion for browser man­u­fac­tur­ers to build APIs that allow pre­mium video expe­ri­ences to be deliv­ered in their browsers. Most con­sumer elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ers, tra­di­tional browser man­u­fac­tur­ers, and con­tent cre­ators are now work­ing towards HTML5 through EME and MSE as a stan­dard means of deliv­ery. For instance, both Chrome­cast and late model Sam­sung TVs use HTML5 through EME and MSE. Stay tuned as Adobe Prime­time cer­ti­fies these devices and oth­ers like them.

Now Previewing Deloitte’s OTT Engagement Platform Integrated with Adobe Marketing Cloud at CES

Adobe and Deloitte Dig­i­tal have teamed up at CES to pre­view Deloitte’s new, over-the-top (OTT) engage­ment plat­form, Mar­ket­Mix for Media. With Deloitte’s man­aged ser­vices, Mar­ket­Mix for Media helps media com­pa­nies plan and launch OTT video ser­vices quickly, cost-effec­tively, and at scale. It includes pre-built inte­gra­tions between Adobe Prime­time, Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud and other indus­try-lead­ing solu­tions.

We’ve writ­ten before about the quick­en­ing pace of direct-to-con­sumer launches. Now through Mar­ket­Mix for Media, we’re excited to be part of an end-to-end solu­tion designed to ease the dif­fi­culty of join­ing the D2C trend.

Why Mar­ket­Mix for Media?

The TV mar­ket has shifted. The grow­ing adop­tion of OTT ser­vices among con­sumers has cre­ated an oppor­tu­nity for media com­pa­nies to develop a direct rela­tion­ship with their audi­ence instead of rely­ing on dis­trib­u­tors. This often involves a com­plete dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion that includes run­ning new busi­ness oper­a­tions, deploy­ing new tech­nol­ogy, and man­ag­ing new engage­ment mod­els.

In the Mar­ket­Mix for Media demo at CES, Adobe and Deloitte will show you a fully oper­a­tional direct-to-con­sumer video solu­tion inclu­sive of iden­tity man­age­ment, CRM, e-com­merce and expe­ri­ence man­age­ment using best-in-class tech­nol­ogy that can help M&E com­pa­nies embrace change and par­tic­i­pate in the direct-to-con­sumer OTT oppor­tu­nity.

Mar­ket­Mix for Media from Deloitte Dig­i­tal on Vimeo.

Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud solu­tions included in the demo

The Mar­ket­Mix for Media pre­view will include a demon­stra­tion of how Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud con­nects with Adobe Prime­time to deliver and man­age expe­ri­ences across mul­ti­ple devices. Par­tic­i­pants will learn:

  1. How to play back video securely across devices and mon­e­tize OTT TV with adver­tis­ing, elec­tronic sell-through (EST), and sub­scrip­tions with with Adobe Prime­time.
  2. How Adobe Expe­ri­ence Man­ager (AEM) is used for video expe­ri­ence man­age­ment and app man­age­ment.
  3. How track, report and feed data into seg­ments with Adobe Ana­lyt­ics, which can then be used to power per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ences in Adobe Expe­ri­ence Man­ager.

Invi­ta­tion to a pri­vate demo

If you’re already at CES, we invite you to visit the Adobe demo suite and sched­ule a 20-min­ute pri­vate demo or reg­is­ter here for a demo time.

Update on HTML5 Premium Video Playback with Adobe Encrypted Media Extensions Support in Firefox

The Adobe Prime­time Con­tent Decryp­tion Mod­ule (CDM) went live today in Fire­fox 43 for 32-bit and 64-bit Win­dows. This exten­sion pro­vides sup­port for the Encrypted Media and Media Source exten­sions avail­able in HTML5 – allow­ing pre­mium video to be played back with­out requir­ing the Flash plugin.

Enabling HTML5 pre­mium video play­back is the pro­duct of a close col­lab­o­ra­tion with Mozilla and Net­flix over the last 18 months. We will con­tinue to work with Mozilla to provide equiv­a­lent sup­port for addi­tional plat­forms (e.g. Mac and Linux) over the com­ing months. Our first major cus­tomer lever­ag­ing this capa­bil­ity is Net­flix, and we expect more in the com­ing months as video providers con­tinue to deliver immer­sive view­ing expe­ri­ences via HTML5. We are excited to bring the Adobe Prime­time CDM to Fire­fox, as well as other plat­forms in the future.

All-Time High TV Everywhere Consumption Demonstrates User Satisfaction; Opportunity Remains to Broaden Footprint

Each quar­ter, the Dig­i­tal Video Bench­mark report by Adobe Dig­i­tal Index high­lights the changes tak­ing place in how con­sumers view video. The biggest high­light of the Q3 2015 report is the rapid growth of TV Every­where view­ing on con­nected TV devices like Apple TV and Roku. Our data shows that tele­vi­sion is mov­ing back into the liv­ing room with more con­tent becom­ing avail­able via con­nected TV devices. The data also shows that once view­ers find TV Every­where con­tent, they con­sume an ever-increas­ing amount of it. How­ever, to max­i­mize the poten­tial of TV Every­where and ensure new user adop­tion accel­er­ates, the indus­try has to do more around aware­ness, dis­cov­er­abil­ity and ease of use. Here are some key find­ings from the report:

TV is return­ing to the liv­ing room

23% of all TV Every­where authen­ti­ca­tions now take place on a con­nected TV device, rep­re­sent­ing 130% YoY growth. Of this 23%, 13% is from Apple TV and 7% is from Roku, which leaves a mere 3% of TV Every­where authen­ti­ca­tions to all other TV con­nected devices such as gam­ing con­soles, the Ama­zon Fire TV and Smart TVs. Movie view­er­ship in par­tic­u­lar is dri­ving this trend. Movie view­ers are twice as likely to watch pro­gram­ming on a TV con­nected device than any other device.

 

1 - ShareOfTVEverywhereAuthenticationsByAccessTypeYOY

TV Every­where shows stick­i­ness with users

Con­sump­tion from exist­ing TV Every­where users jumped by 102% YoY while new user adop­tion inched up, grow­ing by just 8% over the last 12 months. So, the view­ers who do con­sume TV Every­where con­tent have nearly dou­bled their con­sump­tion.

2 - TVEverywhereAuthenticatedVideoViewingGrowth

3 - TVEverywhereShareOfActiveMonthlyPayTVViewers

Youth pro­gram­ming and movies boost stick­i­ness

Much of the growth in TV Every­where con­tent con­sump­tion is com­ing from teens and toons pro­gram­ming for youth and movies. Teens and toons is the most fre­quently viewed con­tent genre and it grew 46% QoQ. It’s viewed the most fre­quently on Android devices. Movies is the fastest grow­ing con­tent genre with 127% growth QoQ. Movies are heav­ily viewed from TV con­nected devices where the big­ger screen improves the view­ing expe­ri­ence.

4 - IndexedAverageTVEverywhereViewingFrequencyByAccessTypeAndGenreQ3MonthlyAverageAuthenticatedVideosVisitor (1)

Smart­phones replaced tablets as the pre­ferred mobile view­ing device 

View­ing non-authen­ti­cated online video on smart­phones increased by 33% YoY while tablet view­ing declined 7%, which can be attrib­uted to slow­ing tablet sales and smart­phones with larger screen sizes. Although nearly half of all web brows­ing occurs on a smart­phone or tablet, only 31% per­cent of videos were viewed on a mobile device.

5 - GlobalDeviceTypeShareOfOnlineVideoStarts

About the Q3 2015 Dig­i­tal Video Bench­mark report

The analy­sis in the bench­mark report is based on aggre­gated and anony­mous data from over 1,500 media and enter­tain­ment sites between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015. It mea­sured 134 bil­lion online video views and 3.6 bil­lion TV Every­where authen­ti­ca­tions across pay-TV ser­vice providers cov­er­ing 99 per­cent of pay-TV house­holds in the U.S and Canada. Adobe also ana­lyzes TV Every­where con­tent from 159 TV chan­nels and over 300 TV Every­where sites and apps – more than any other tech­nol­ogy com­pany in the indus­try.

For more insights, down­load the full Q3 2015 Dig­i­tal Video Bench­mark report.

Quickening Pace of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Launches

The indus­try is abuzz about direct-to-con­sumer (D2C) stream­ing video ser­vices, which give con­sumers pro­gram­ming choices that fall out­side of tra­di­tional pay-TV pack­ages.

Early entrants to the D2C stream­ing video mar­ket, such as MLB.tv and Net­flix, have proven it’s pos­si­ble to attract a large audi­ence with a D2C offer­ing. For exam­ple, Net­flix has over 66 mil­lion paid mem­bers around the world and MLB.tv has 3.5 mil­lion paid sub­scribers. Now, the ques­tion is whether or not oth­ers will fol­low in their foot­steps and also go direct to con­sumer.

Two views on the future of D2C

D2C is head­ing in one of two direc­tions. Con­sumers could favor cen­tral­ized access to stream­ing video con­tent. This con­sumer pref­er­ence could make it dif­fi­cult for niche stream­ing video providers to secure the sub­scribers they need to sus­tain their offer­ings. It would allow play­ers like Net­flix, Hulu, Ama­zon Prime Instant Video and MVPD apps to cap­ture the bulk of time and bud­gets that con­sumers are will­ing to spend on stream­ing video. 

On the other hand, con­sumers could embrace the abil­ity to curate their own col­lec­tion of con­tent. It’s cum­ber­some to man­age today, but search and dis­cov­ery inno­va­tions could eas­ily improve the curated expe­ri­ence in the near future. With this, any stream­ing video provider with a loyal audi­ence could thrive going D2C.

2015 was a big year for D2C launches

What­ever the future of D2C holds, one thing is for cer­tain. There’s a quick­en­ing pace of new D2C launches. Together, 2014 and 2015 had eigh­teen major launches. This is more than all prior years com­bined. And even more D2C stream­ing video ser­vices are set to launch in 2016. AMC Net­works is in beta with a hor­ror-themed offer­ing called Shud­der and Bell Media’s CraveTV plans to go direct to con­sumer on Jan­u­ary 1st.

Sources: Launch dates announced in indus­try press. Data com­piled Novem­ber 2015.

Pro­gram­mers future-proof­ing their busi­ness

The main impe­tus for going D2C is to find another path to view­ers who are watch­ing less tra­di­tional TV. A MarketingCharts.com analy­sis of Nielsen data reports, “Between 2011 and Q2 2015, TV view­ing by 18–24-year-olds dropped by almost 8 hours per week, or by more than an hour a day. Tellingly, the largest decline (in absolute time) occurred within the past year, between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015.”

Source: MarketingCharts.com analy­sis of Nielsen data

Over-the-top (OTT) devices make going D2C easy

Another impe­tus for going D2C is the ease and range of options for get­ting pre­mium stream­ing video con­tent onto TVs. D2C stream­ing video ser­vices can provide a view­ing expe­ri­ence that’s as good or bet­ter than tra­di­tional TV by going over-the-top (OTT) to TV screens via set-top like Apple TV and Roku, stream­ing media sticks like Chrome­cast and Ama­zon Fire Stick, and gam­ing plat­forms like PlaySta­tion 4 and Xbox One. 

Who else will go D2C?

Exist­ing entrants in the D2C space have proved that OTT can be lever­aged at the same time as tra­di­tional TV dis­tri­b­u­tion deals and that it can grow the pie of view­ers beyond what tra­di­tional TV can reach. How­ever, sub­scriber acqui­si­tion can be dif­fi­cult and nobody wants to launch a ser­vice that can’t gain trac­tion. Expect ad tech­nol­ogy and mar­ket­ing automa­tion part­ners to ease this dif­fi­culty for new and exist­ing D2C play­ers.

Solving the OTT Monetization Challenge with Adobe Primetime TV Media Management (TVMM)

Today, we’re excited to announce the addi­tion of TV Media Man­age­ment (TVMM) to the Adobe Prime­time plat­form. Launched in part­ner­ship with Vide­ol­ogy, the leader in con­verged TV and video adver­tis­ing, TVMM solves a major chal­lenge for providers of over-the-top tele­vi­sion: max­i­miz­ing rev­enue from OTT dis­tri­b­u­tion across screens.

OTT inven­tory is typ­i­cally under­val­ued and unmon­e­tized — a missed oppor­tu­nity as view­ers increas­ingly sup­ple­ment or even replace tra­di­tional lin­ear TV with live and on-demand view­ing across mul­ti­ple devices and plat­forms. TVMM reverses under-mon­e­ti­za­tion by empow­er­ing OTT providers to lever­age data in order to opti­mally plan, fore­cast and pack­age OTT inven­tory. This pro­duces higher CPMs and more rev­enue.

To learn more about TVMM, watch my inter­view with Beet.TV. I dis­cuss how TVMM is the industry’s first ad sales plat­form to be built specif­i­cally to meet the needs of OTT providers.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 4.24.56 PM

Adobe Primetime’s Commitment to HTML5

Adobe Prime­time has emerged as the lead­ing global mul­ti­screen over-the-top (OTT) plat­form, pow­er­ing con­tent deliv­ery, mon­e­ti­za­tion and per­son­al­iza­tion for live, lin­ear and on-demand TV expe­ri­ences. Since launch­ing in 2013, Prime­time has been adopted by major media com­pa­nies world­wide, includ­ing Chan­nel 5, Com­cast, HBO, M6, NBC Sports, RTL Group, Show­time, Sony Crackle, Starz Ara­bia, Time Warner Cable, and Turner Broad­cast­ing, and helped power major events such as the Sochi Win­ter Olympics for NBC Sports.

Our cus­tomer com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing the high­est qual­ity, most reli­able con­tent view­ing expe­ri­ence across plat­forms is para­mount, which is why Adobe is fur­ther advanc­ing its sup­port for HTML5. As a plat­form-agnos­tic solu­tion, Prime­time sup­ports HTML5 con­tent deliv­ery across desk­tops, mobile web browsers (iOS, Android) and con­nected devices for secure, pro­tected play­back – extend­ing both reach and mon­e­ti­za­tion capa­bil­i­ties.

Adobe Prime­time & HTML5 for OTT Tele­vi­sion and Film

As we announced at IBC in Sep­tem­ber, Adobe Prime­time sup­ports the deploy­ment of live, lin­ear and on-demand OTT expe­ri­ences to HTML5 envi­ron­ments across screens. Our TVSDK for HTML5 applies Adobe’s exper­tise in video solu­tions to the open HTML5 stan­dard.

TVSDK for HTML5 is a soft­ware devel­op­ment kit for Prime­time cus­tomers that want to deploy pre­mium video expe­ri­ences to HTML5 envi­ron­ments across screens. With TVSDK for HTML5, Adobe has applied its video solu­tions exper­tise to the open HTML5 stan­dard, which enables engag­ing video expe­ri­ences on mobile devices. In turn, top media com­pa­nies can deliver more of what peo­ple want on the mobile web and increase the viewer’s time spent on their mobile web­sites. TVSDK for HTML5 also works with HTML5-com­pli­ant desk­top browsers and OTT devices to offer com­ple­men­tary view­ing expe­ri­ences.

There are sev­eral advan­tages to lever­ag­ing Adobe’s sup­port for HTML5:

  1. Work­flow effi­ciency – TVSDK for HTML5 sup­ports all the same great work­flows that are part of Adobe Prime­time.
  2. Most exten­sive reach – Prime­time cus­tomers still get TVSDK 2.0 as a fall­back solu­tion where HTML5 is not sup­ported. By lever­ag­ing TVSDK 2.0 and TVSDK for HTML5, Prime­time cus­tomers can achieve the great­est pos­si­ble reach across screens avail­able any­where.

Adobe Prime­time is max­i­miz­ing the poten­tial reach of video dis­tri­b­u­tion. Cur­rently, 51% of active mobile/tablet browsers and 52.5% of active desk­top browsers in use today sup­port pre­mium video via HTML5 (Source: Net­Mar­ket­Share, Oct. 2015). Primetime’s HTML5 sup­port in con­junc­tion with other stan­dards cov­ers almost all active mobile/tablet and desk­top browsers.

Adobe Prime­time & Flash Player Sup­port

The Adobe Prime­time TVSDK is built on a mul­ti­threaded pre­mium video engine inte­grated with Adobe Flash Player, with native sup­port for HTTP Live Stream­ing (HLS) and full GPU sup­port for hard­ware decod­ing and ren­der­ing. The Flash failover for TVSDK for HTML5 lever­ages this same engine that is only avail­able to Prime­time cus­tomers and part­ners.

HLS sup­port built by third-par­ties on Adobe Flash Player’s Net­Stream API needs to be devel­oped in Action­Script (AS) and is lim­ited to a sin­gle-threaded AS exe­cu­tion envi­ron­ment, which is shared by the app’s dis­play ren­der­ing and AS Vir­tual Machine. This can result in per­for­mance lim­i­ta­tions, specif­i­cally with higher bit-rate and higher res­o­lu­tion pre­mium video con­tent.

How­ever, the Adobe Prime­time TVSDK stack runs natively, lever­ag­ing a mul­ti­threaded archi­tec­ture that is opti­mized for each desk­top platform’s hard­ware accel­er­a­tion capa­bil­i­ties, which enables higher qual­ity video play­back and accel­er­ated per­for­mance. It is also the same cross-plat­form stack that is avail­able on other TVSDK-sup­ported mobile and OTT plat­forms, pro­vid­ing the same con­sis­tent set of fea­tures, behav­iors and APIs for ease of devel­op­ment.

TVSDK for HTML5 Sup­ports Two Main Use Cases

There are two main ways that Adobe Prime­time cus­tomers can use TVSDK for HTML5. Some media com­pa­nies may use it to deliver pro­tected streams with full encryp­tion and con­tent pro­tec­tion, while oth­ers may use it to deliver unen­crypted HLS or Advanced Encryp­tion Stan­dard (AES128) streams.

  • Dig­i­tal Rights Man­age­ment (DRM) Pro­tected Stream­ing – The Prime­time TVSDK for HTML5 allows for pro­tected stream­ing with sup­port for the native con­tent pro­tec­tion stacks on each browser: 
    • Access on Fire­fox,
    • PlayReady on Inter­net Explorer/Edge
    • Widevine on Chrome
    • Fair­Play on Safari

The TVSDK for HTML5 will load in the cor­rect Con­tent Decryp­tion Mod­ule (CDM) based on the tar­get browser, and request the cor­rect stream; HLS streams for Safari and MPEG DASH streams for Fire­fox, Inter­net Explorer/Edge, and Chrome. The TVSDK 2.0 can then be used as a fall­back solu­tion for browsers that don’t sup­port HTML5 Media Source Exten­sions (MSE)/Encrypted Media Exten­sions (EME), includ­ing older ver­sions of Fire­fox, Chrome, Inter­net Explorer/Edge and Safari on the desk­top.

  • Non-DRM pro­tected stream­ing – The Prime­time TVSDK for HTML5 also allows for the play­back of AES128 or unen­crypted HLS streams across all MSE-enabled browsers. Just like in the pro­tected stream­ing case, TVSDK can be used as a fall­back solu­tion for browsers that don’t sup­port MSE.

Regard­less of whether you are using the TVSDK for HTML5 to deliver pro­tected or unpro­tected streams, both deliv­ery mech­a­nisms are sup­ported across both desk­top and mobile web browsers and sup­port the same great fea­tures of the exist­ing TVSDK.

Adobe Prime­time is also excited to sup­port HTML5 through Encrypted Media Exten­sions (EME) and bring the advan­tage of greater reach for pro­tected video con­tent to our cus­tomers.

Adobe Prime­time uses a CDM to deliver pro­tected video con­tent to all EME-capa­ble, HTML5-com­pli­ant browsers. For the remain­ing mobile/tablet browsers that aren’t HTML5 MSE-com­pli­ant, Prime­time can sup­port native deploy­ments. For the remain­ing desk­top browsers, Adobe Prime­time defaults to using Adobe Access to play back DRM-pro­tected video.

The indus­try at large is look­ing for a con­sis­tent way to deliver pre­mium video expe­ri­ences across all view­ing plat­forms. HTML5 through EME pro­vides a generic spec­i­fi­ca­tion for browser man­u­fac­tur­ers to build APIs that allow pre­mium video expe­ri­ences to be deliv­ered in their browsers. Most con­sumer elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ers, tra­di­tional browser man­u­fac­tur­ers, and con­tent cre­ators are now work­ing towards HTML5 through EME as a stan­dard means of deliv­ery. For instance, both Chrome­cast and late model Sam­sung TVs now provide EME-capa­ble, HTML5-com­pli­ant browsers.

The Road Ahead

We’re excited for broad­cast­ers, pro­gram­mers and pay-TV providers to take advan­tage of the Prime­time TVSDK for HTML5 in order to build and deliver pre­mium video expe­ri­ences across IP-con­nected screens and ensure con­tent flows con­sis­tently across devices. HTML5 is one of the lead­ing open stan­dards across web and mobile plat­forms, build­ing on the capa­bil­i­ties that Adobe Flash Player orig­i­nally pio­neered. We will con­tinue to main­tain the com­pat­i­bil­ity of exist­ing Flash Player con­tent through Adobe Prime­time to sup­port our cus­tomers’ needs, while lever­ag­ing and advanc­ing HTML5 to bring the same capa­bil­i­ties and cov­er­age. Stay tuned for more updates and Prime­time devel­op­ments around HTML5 in 2016.

Streaming Media Readers Honor Adobe Primetime

Today at Stream­ing Media West, Adobe Prime­time was rec­og­nized as a win­ner of the 2015 Stream­ing Media Read­ers’ Choice Awards in five cat­e­gories:

  • Closed Cap­tion­ing Solu­tion
  • DRM/Access Con­trol Solu­tion
  • Media & Enter­tain­ment Video Plat­form
  • OTT Plat­form for MSO and MVPD
  • Report­ing & Ana­lyt­ics Plat­form (with Adobe Ana­lyt­ics)

This award rec­og­nizes the best online video tech­nolo­gies based on pub­lic vot­ing. Accord­ing to Stream­ing Media, “This year’s awards brought in 326 nom­i­na­tions; after weed­ing out the dupli­cates and the nom­i­na­tions that weren’t appro­pri­ate for their cat­e­gories, we nar­rowed the field down to 249 nom­i­nees and opened the vot­ing to StreamingMedia.com read­ers.”

With nearly 36,000 votes cast across 29 cat­e­gories, we’re hon­ored that Stream­ing Media’s read­ers rec­og­nized Adobe Prime­time for its work with cus­tomers and part­ners in the con­stantly evolv­ing online video/TV indus­try. The future of TV is bright and we’re thrilled to be pow­er­ing con­tent view­ing, dis­tri­b­u­tion and mon­e­ti­za­tion across screens for broad­cast­ers, pro­gram­mers and pay-TV providers. Thank you to the Stream­ing Media staff for host­ing this award. We appre­ci­ate the acco­lade alongside so many other indus­try play­ers and we have some excit­ing inno­va­tions around Prime­time com­ing in 2016 – so stay tuned!

PrimetimeDRM1

PrimetimeDRM3

PrimetimeDRM2

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

Our Commitment to 99.99% Uptime for Adobe Primetime Authentication

Adobe Prime­time Authen­ti­ca­tion (for­merly Adobe Pass) is com­mit­ted to 99.99% uptime. That’s only around 4 min­utes of down­time per month or less. Every month this year Prime­time Authen­ti­ca­tion achieved 99.99% uptime or bet­ter, except this month. This month, an exter­nal fac­tor put our sys­tems to the test. All our prepa­ra­tions paid off. Prime­time Authen­ti­ca­tion will end Octo­ber with a 99.95% uptime, which is .04% shy of our goal. This post is about how we keep our uptime com­mit­ment.

Archi­tect­ing robust ser­vices

Infra­struc­ture breaks. No mat­ter how much care you take, it breaks. There is no ques­tion about it. The only ques­tion is when. And the really hard ques­tion is actu­ally how pre­pared you are to deal with it when it breaks.
Any type of infra­struc­ture. Things break in the pub­lic cloud and in the pri­vate cloud. A wide range of fac­tors such as soft­ware bugs, hard­ware defects, or third-party ser­vices fail­ures can put any sys­tem to the test. So it takes a robust archi­tec­ture to keep a ser­vice up even when infra­struc­ture breaks. 

Here is a recent exam­ple. Prime­time Authen­ti­ca­tion is archi­tected as a dis­trib­uted sys­tem run­ning in an active-active con­fig­u­ra­tion between the east­ern and west­ern United States. It relies on our DNS provider to geo-bal­ance the traf­fic. If we encoun­ter prob­lems in the east, the traf­fic is auto­mat­i­cally shifted to the west and vice-versa. This is a major fac­tor in our high avail­abil­ity. Our DNS provider is reli­able and not expected to fail. And still...

The out­age

Last week our DNS provider expe­ri­enced a major out­age that affected mul­ti­ple states in the east­ern United States and impacted sev­eral high pro­file ser­vices. That hit us hard. Let’s see how we dealt with it.

Rapid response

Within min­utes of the DNS out­age, our team was in a vir­tual inci­dent war-room scram­bling to react. It was after mid­night in our time zone, but we were online in min­utes. This is where all those annoy­ing lit­tle things paid off: the fine-tuned uptime mon­i­tor­ing, the auto­mated alert­ing sys­tem, the dis­ci­pline of 24x7 on-call, and the prac­ticed inci­dent response pro­ce­dures. They all came together like a well-oiled machine to save valu­able time.
Ok, so what’s next? First we thought that some­thing went wrong with our east­ern instance. So we brought that down and expected the traf­fic to shift auto­mat­i­cally to our west­ern instance. No time for deep inves­ti­ga­tion, you need to act quickly to restore the ser­vice, that’s the first pri­or­ity in an inci­dent. But the traf­fic didn’t shift and crit­i­cal alerts kept pour­ing down. By the time we nar­rowed this to be a DNS issue, we got an email from our provider acknowl­edg­ing the out­age.

A DNS out­age is bad. Your ser­vice is up, but Inter­net users can­not reach it because the name can­not be resolved to an actual IP address. Most ser­vices are just wait­ing for the out­age to pass and thus restore user access. But we can’t afford that with a 99.99% com­mit­ment. So we have a backup DNS sys­tem.

The right pre­cau­tion

Some time ago we migrated from our in-house oper­ated DNS solu­tion to a cloud provider. And we had the pre­cau­tion of keep­ing our DNS set­tings with the in-house sys­tem as well in an inac­tive sta­tus. This proved to be the key to our recov­ery. We re-acti­vated the DNS set­tings in our in-house sys­tem and made that our pri­mary DNS provider. The fact that we kept the “dor­mant” records there allowed us to enforce aggres­sive prop­a­ga­tion of the new DNS records. The tech­ni­cal details are less triv­ial than depicted here and involve a pre-defined hier­ar­chy of domains and sub­do­mains that allowed us to con­trol our DNS in this way. The point is that you can­not just adopt a new DNS provider on the spot because this change will take hours to prop­a­gate for the first time.
So our pre­cau­tion of keep­ing the backup DNS sys­tem saved us. We were back online and fully acces­si­ble in a short amount of time. It took us more than 4 min­utes, for sure. So we failed our 99.99% for the month by a small mar­gin. But we were back before every­body else was and we were one of the very few ser­vices to do so.

Con­tin­u­ing to pro­tect Prime­time Authen­ti­ca­tion uptime

In ret­ro­spect, this looks like a sim­ple thing. Such things always do, hind­sight is 20/20. Of course, another DNS provider, what could be sim­pler? You would be amazed how few ser­vices actu­ally have that at the ready. Most of the affected ser­vices just waited in frus­tra­tion of not being able to react until the DNS provider fixed their out­age, 90 min­utes later. A DNS out­age at this scale doesn’t hap­pen every day, it hap­pens rarely. But when it hap­pens, you can lose invalu­able uptime min­utes if you are not pre­pared.

We con­tinue to remain pre­pared to pro­tect the uptime of Prime­time Authen­ti­ca­tion when the next chal­lenge strikes.