CES: TV Everywhere Becoming a Reality in 2013

As we embark on a new year, we’re excited to see more and more “TV Everywhere” experiences coming online. With Adobe Pass, our Emmy Engineering award-winning authentication service and a key component of Adobe‘s Project Primetime, we are working closely with our partners to make it easier for millions of consumers to access their pay TV content across devices.

Adobe Pass is now supported by more than 150 pay TV operators covering nearly 98 percent of all pay TV households in the U.S. Given the current adoption rate, we anticipate all major TV shows will be available through a TV Everywhere experience in the next two years.

We’re thrilled that A+E Networks just launched its first iPad apps, powered by Adobe Pass, for three of its networks: A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime. These three networks bring to iPad users their broadcast content, including popular TV shows like Storage Wars (A&E), Pawn Stars (HISTORY) and Project Runway (Lifetime). Additionally, Comcast customers can access exclusive content across all three apps. With three new A+E apps now live, more than 55 sites and mobile apps are now powered by Adobe’s authentication service. TV programmers working with Adobe include NBC, Fox, Disney, ESPN, Cartoon Network, MTV, TNT, CNN, Scripps, Pac12, NFL Network, The Hallmark Channel, Univision, and many others.

We’re excited about the pipeline of new TV Everywhere apps coming online in 2013 – bringing consumers a digital living room experience on the go. Stay tuned for some major updates between now and The NAB Show.

Lifetime HISTORYAE

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Embracing the Multi-Screen World to Reach Consumers

Last month at the AdMonsters Screens event in London, we explored the growing opportunities (and challenges) for publishers as consumers use multiple screens including their Internet-connected smartphones and tablet devices to consume digital video content – anytime, anywhere.

AdMonsters spoke with Adobe’s Steve Allison, technical evangelist for Media & Advertising Solutions, and other industry players about how to embrace the multi-screen opportunity and enhance the consumer experience. Steve thinks that distributing and reusing content across multiple screens is a continuing obstacle for many publishers, but they must “respect the soul of a device” to create fully engaging consumer experiences. Watch his video interview below and see what Steve says about making better video advertising decisions, capitalizing on the multi-screen opportunity, and driving consumer engagement across platforms.

Check out some of the other AdMonsters video interviews as well:

  • Tom Bowman, VP of strategy and global ad sales at BBC Worldwide, discusses vying for consumer attention across multiple devices and how publishers can leverage native mobile device capabilities.

  • Michael Tuszynski, product manager at MTV Networks (a division of Viacom), talks about second-screen applications and smoothly integrating video ads into the consumer experience.

  • Conor Mullen, commercial director at RTE, comments on exciting opportunities for publishers in today’s new media age and challenges in reaching consumers across various devices.

  • Bill Scott, chief operating and commercial officer at easelTV, shares his thoughts on the differences between online video content and the traditional TV model, and how audience engagement is changing.

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Introducing the Primetime Media Player – A New Way to Distribute, Monetize and Analyze Online Video Content

As part of the major updates announced to Project Primetime today, we’re thrilled to introduce a beta of the Primetime Media Player. At the core of Primetime, this is the industry’s first technology enabling TV content owners and distributors to reach the broadest audience while immediately monetizing online video experiences through seamless ad insertion and analytics. We’re taking several Adobe video technologies and putting them under a single framework to provide a SDK for video content playback on Mac OS and Windows, plus native iOS and Android apps.

The Primetime Media Player allows for a richer, more robust viewing experience on desktops and mobile devices within apps. With seamless ad insertion and native support for protected playback built into the Player, consumers will enjoy faster video load times, fewer playback errors, and a less obtrusive advertising experience.  In short, it just feels like TV.  Consumers will also enjoy greater control over their content experience with support for closed captioning and multiple audio tracks (e.g. Spanish or English) when provided by the video publisher.  The end result is a positive online video playback experience where the consumer gets what they want – when and how they want it.   And, importantly, Primetime Media Player gives publishers and distributors a clear way to drive revenue from their online video experiences, without compromising user experience or audience reach.

Some benefits of the Primetime Media Player include:

  • High-quality Multiple Bit Rate (MBR) video playback support.
  • HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) support on iOS and Android.
  • HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) support on desktop and Android.
  • Content monetization, including ad insertion capabilities and seamless ad insertion with native integration through Adobe MediaWeaver.
  • Better insight into your consumer viewing habits and stream quality with native integration with Adobe SiteCatalyst.
  • Content Protection and Business Policy Enforcement through Adobe Access – Full DRM and Protected Streaming with selectable output control and key rotation for linear, live and on-demand video.

The Primetime Media Player also offers fully compliant Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) features:

  • Render in-stream closed captioning with built-in support for user-based rendering overrides
  • Native support for multiple audio tracks

We’ve designed the Primetime Media Player with ease-of-deployment in mind. Consumers can take advantage of the Player now with very little effort. The only requirement for desktop experiences is installing Adobe Flash Player (version 11.1 or higher). With iOS and Android, it’s already bundled within native apps so no additional plug-ins or downloads are required.  Content formatting and encryption for desktops, iOS and Android is made easy via Adobe StreamKit, which can be integrated into a third party encoder or run as a separate tool. We will continue to announce support for more web-connected platforms in the future, such as game consoles, Over-the-Top (OTT) devices, and connected TVs. We’re excited to see the Primetime Media Player deliver an improved broadcast TV experience online while consumers reap the benefits.

Check out the video overview of Project Primetime below and our other blogs posts around other Primetime updates: Adobe MediaWeaver, our new ad insertion service, and full integration with Adobe advertising and data solutions. Stay tuned for more updates around Project Primetime coming soon!

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Introducing Adobe MediaWeaver – Innovation for Video Ad Insertion Across Devices

Programmers and operators struggle to effectively insert video ads into professional content across devices. Adobe MediaWeaver addresses this challenge as a core component of the latest version of Project Primetime, announced today. To simplify the process of monetizing video content and create the optimal viewing experience for consumers, MediaWeaver merges three different workflows into one:

  • Seamless ad insertion into linear, live, and VoD video content using a proprietary form of “ad stitching.” This allows for dynamic ad execution into any content type, on any IP-connected desktop or device, creating an engaging, buffer-free ad and content experience for consumers.
  • Complete management of business rules and contractual obligations tied to inventory splits and syndication rights. This helps media companies control which partners can sell advertising against their audience and programs, creating as much value as possible from every viewer interaction.
  • Ad management (ADM), directing ad calls based on pre-defined rules and obligations to any ad server. This reduces friction throughout the broadcast-to-IP video and advertising workflow, and replicates the TV national and local ad inventory split for any video delivered to a desktop or device.

Adobe customers who use MediaWeaver can take advantage of off-the-shelf integration with Adobe Auditude, Adobe’s video ad server, or pass ad calls seamlessly to linear/VOD or IP-based third-party ad servers. MediaWeaver allows Adobe customers to adopt Project Primetime and its components in modular fashion, without disrupting existing workflows, implementations or contractual arrangements.

With MediaWeaver, broadcasters can replace or dynamically insert ads into adaptive video streams on any desktop and a broad range of IP-connected devices — without content prep or workflow changes.

MediaWeaver delivers smooth, immediate transitions into and out of ad breaks. This process mimics the ease and simplicity of TV broadcasting to set-top boxes, and handles national and local inventory splits effortlessly – without sacrificing the addressability of a digital environment.

Check out the video overview below along with blog posts on our other latest Project Primetime updates: Primetime Media Player and full integration across Adobe advertising and data solutions.

 

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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!

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Auditude Takes Home Award and Celebrates Anniversary With New Update

awardIt’s been a busy week here for the Project Primetime team. In the midst of celebrating the anniversary of Auditude joining Adobe, our industry-leading ad server was awarded the Streaming Media Reader’s Choice Award for Video Advertising Management Platform.  We joined some pretty solid company with Adobe Media Server, Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe SiteCatalyst also picking up awards, all presented at Streaming Media West in Los Angeles.

Adobe Auditude and Adobe Media Server are pillars of Project Primetime, and these awards were delivered at a time of accelerating innovation from the team. Auditude just released an update — the highlights from that release are numerous, but three important features that are resonating with customers include:

Advanced forecasting. One of our most-requested enhancements, seasonality and consumption trends can now be projected with our advanced forecasting algorithm. Every publisher has content that is either increasing or decreasing in popularity, and these trends can vary based on the program, duration, genre, geo, etc. Similarly, ad ops can forecast spikes and drops in certain types of content experience based on day of week, month, or season. For example, some network shows trail off in viewership during the summer. Existing, 28-day based algorithms would fail to predict this drop, putting inventory managers at risk for missing campaign goals due to lack of inventory. Auditude makes sure this never happens by detecting these trends and applying them to its forecasts.

* Smart Groups. Publishers can surface potential problem ads before they cause issues. Smart Groups allow ad traffickers to access – with just one click – all the ads that fit different, customizable sets of criteria. For example, a Smart Group can identify ads beginning in three days that are missing creative, giving an ad trafficker sufficient time to correct the problem.

* Real-time Availability.  Ad ops can run an availability check on any inventory segment within a few seconds,  so they can respond without delay to maximize revenue potential. Now, inventory managers can instantly approve proposals, allowing their ad sales teams to be more nimble and responsive to advertisers.

Feature-rich as well, Adobe Media Server released version 5 at IBC to help programmers meet FCC requirements for closed captioning and deliver protected streams via HLS to Apple devices.

It’s an exciting time in the industry and it’s rewarding to see our products recognized both by our peers and customers.  But we’re not slowing down — stay tuned for more soon!

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Adobe Pass and TV Everywhere Live From The Emmys

Adobe accepted an Emmy Engineering Plaque for its Adobe Pass TV Everywhere technology tonight at the 64th Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards in LA. This award recognizes Adobe’s outstanding engineering achievements in the advancement of TV Everywhere across the industry.

Adobe's Joel Huff and Todd Greenbaum celebrate at the Emmy Awards with Mike Wise from Turner Broadcasting.

Adobe’s Joel Huff and Todd Greenbaum celebrate at the Emmy Awards with Mike Wise from Turner Broadcasting.

In addition to this win, we are excited to announce that Starz, Encore and Movieplex are the latest partners to use Adobe Pass. More than 25 top TV programmers now deliver pay-TV content through 45 sites and apps across connected devices using Adobe’s authentication service. Check out the video below, which was shown at the award ceremony tonight. Thanks to our friends at Turner and CNN, for showing your support!

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Adobe Pass Earns Primetime Emmy Engineering Award

We’re thrilled to announce that Adobe Pass, Adobe’s TV Everywhere solution, will be honored by The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and presented with an Emmy Engineering Plaque, a recognition for outstanding engineering achievements for emerging technologies, at the 64th Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards on October 24th. The Academy is recognizing Adobe for its contribution to drive TV Everywhere adoption across the industry.

Adobe Pass, a key component of Adobe’s Project Primetime, has become the industry leader in TV Everywhere technology in less than two years and is now supported by more than 150 US operators as they deliver hundreds of millions of authenticated streams for major live events such as The Olympic Games, March Madness, Euro Soccer Cup, NBA Playoffs and live news coverage via mobile apps from programmers like CNN. Leading media companies including Viacom, NBCU, Fox, Disney, ESPN, Cartoon Network and Scripps Networks depend on Adobe Pass for viewer authentication across more than 40 live sites and apps across desktops and mobile devices today.

Approximately 98 percent of pay TV households in the U.S. are now able to view TV content via the Adobe Pass authentication service and consumers are pushing TV Everywhere adoption to an all-time high. Given the track we are on, we expect every major TV show to be available via a TV Everywhere app within the next two years. Thanks to all our partners who helped make Adobe Pass a great success and a key driver for the transformation of the TV industry as we know it today!

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Live from Amsterdam, Adobe Project Primetime at IBC

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.

In the video below, and accompanying videos from the show, Adobe discusses Project Primetime, tackling major industry challenges and recent partner wins.

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Adobe Pass Drives Mainstream Adoption of TV Everywhere

Adobe Pass, a key component of Adobe’s Project Primetime, has quickly established itself as the industry leader in TV Everywhere services. Used by NBC Olympics to enable live streams, Adobe Pass is now integrated with more than 150 pay TV providers and supports over 40 sites and mobile apps from 25 major networks including Fox, ESPN, CNN Continue reading…

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