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!

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!

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

Adobe Primetime and the Single Publishing Workflow

Today there are different video formats to target various platforms, which invariably lead to increased storage and delivery costs, redundant workflows, and reduced scale due to caching inefficiencies. Complex workflows boost operating costs, which can prevent reaching all potential users.

For example, if it’s required to deploy four DRMs, three streaming protocols, three ad insertion technologies to reach all devices and users, and the video playback itself on the devices is not consistent due to fragmentation, it can become too expensive to deploy and maintain. The compromise is to settle on a subset of devices, which will limit your reach.

Adobe Primetime, now generally available, is committed to helping programmers and distributors reach, monetize and activate audiences across screens. This is due to having a single publishing, protocol, DRM, CVAA-compliant closed captioning, and ad workflow to reach all users across all major devices.

To simplify delivery workflows, we are enhancing our protocol support with Adobe Primetime: 

  • Adobe Primetime Player will support HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), in addition to the existing HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) on the desktop
  • HLS will be available on all Adobe Primetime Player mobile platforms
  • Support of  MPEG-Dash in the future

All platforms and protocols support all Adobe Primetime Player features, including:

  • Seamless Ad Insertion
  • Digital rights management (DRM)
  • Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) compliant closed captioning
  • Enhanced video analytics

Desktops / Android

Desktops and Android devices will both include a full HLS (v4) video stack. It will specifically address the video playback fragmentation challenges on Android with its low-level integration, and provide high-quality video playback on all Android 2.3 and 4.x devices with the Adobe Primetime Player.

iOS

Adobe Primetime uses the native HLS video stack on iOS. Adobe Primetime DRM and Ad Insertion are fully compliant with Apple’s video guidelines.

Other

Future mobile and digital home support will offer all Adobe Primetime features, and can be targeted with a single publishing workflow.

We are very excited to help simplify the publishing workflow with Adobe Primetime, and provide the best possible reach and user experience for the next generation of online video content.

New Primetime Logo

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 HISTORY A&E

Zynga Leverages Adobe AIR to Take Ruby Blast Multi-Platform

Rubies – now available on your mobile device! You can now play Zynga’s Ruby Blast not just on Facebook and Zynga.com but also on mobile, marking another successful game for which Adobe Gaming technologies have been used to deliver explosive graphics, action-packed sound effects and gorgeous particle effects on any device. Ruby Blast was Zynga’s first game optimized for hardware acceleration, supported by Flash Player and Adobe AIR, and successfully extended across multiple platforms while preserving the beauty and speed of the original Ruby Blast web game for a seamless experience.

While creating Ruby Blast, Zynga developed performance optimizations that have been integrated back into the open-source Starling framework, benefitting all developers leveraging the same technologies for their own games. By using the Starling framework today, indie developers and studios benefit from the ongoing innovation brought by companies like Zynga and Adobe and the entire community which has grown up around Starling.

Visit www.itunes.com/appstore to find out more about Ruby Blast and start playing today! And check out gaming.adobe.com to learn more about Adobe Gaming technologies, and how we are helping game developers of all levels reach the widest audience on desktop and mobile.

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!

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.

 

Monsters Battle in GREE’s First Mobile Social AIR App

Want to engage in epic battles on a planet riddled with monsters? We thought so!

GREE launched its first mobile social game using Flash technology for the iPhone today. MONPLA SMASH is the company’s free-to-play RPG action battle game that delivers stunning graphics through an Adobe AIR app and we are excited to have worked with them to bring this game to market.

As one of the leading gaming companies, we are thrilled to see GREE take advantage of the cross-platform delivery options provided by Adobe to release this innovative mobile social game worldwide, as a native iOS app, using its existing workflow. MONPLA SMASH is a great example of how AIR addresses the growing demand for high-impact social games with amazing graphics across leading mobile devices.

To check out more examples of mobile games using Flash and AIR, visit the Adobe Gaming showcase.