Archive for June, 2012

A Digital Video Inflection Point

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.

helfand_brightcove-1024x768Dig­i­tal 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.


The Impact of the Flash Player Unpublish Announcement on Android Video Delivery

As announced last fall, although Flash Player for the Android mobile browser will not receive any fur­ther ver­sion updates, it remained avail­able in the Google Play Store. This week we announced Flash Player for the mobile browser will be unpub­lished from the Google Play Store.

android_logo2Does this mean Adobe is not com­mit­ted to video on mobile devices? Absolutely not. We con­tinue to inno­vate and solve mobile video frag­men­ta­tion chal­lenges. Specif­i­cally, on Android, we solve this with Adobe AIR, with high-end video fea­tures such as Adobe Access DRM, and fre­quent new releases with new video fea­tures. In addi­tion, we intro­duced “Project Prime­time”, focus­ing on solv­ing video frag­men­ta­tion and mon­e­ti­za­tion chal­lenges across desk­top, mobile and dig­i­tal home.

We made the deci­sion to dis­con­tinue sup­port for Android mobile browser because of two rea­sons: 1) Pre­mium expe­ri­ences on mobile devices are typ­i­cally being deliv­ered through apps and 2) Mobile web­sites mostly rely on HTML5 based video deliv­ery.

What does the mean for you if you use Flash Player on Android for mobile browser video deliv­ery? First, exist­ing users can con­tinue use as is. Android mar­ket unpub­lish does not mean Flash Player will be unin­stalled from devices. Devices with Flash Player already installed will con­tinue to receive secu­rity updates. Sec­ond, you should develop a migra­tion plan. New users will not be able to down­load Flash Player and install to their mobile browser.

Adobe’s solu­tion for video deliv­ery to mobile devices is cen­tered on enabling apps. As an imme­di­ate future-proof migra­tion path, Adobe AIR pro­vides the same advanced Flash based video fea­tures, which means no changes to your con­tent pro­tec­tion or video deliv­ery infra­struc­ture. AIR enables advanced video fea­tures for play­back on Android 2.2+ devices, includ­ing Adobe Access DRM, live sup­port, and adap­tive stream­ing. Adobe is fully com­mit­ted to fur­ther develop and sup­port Adobe AIR on Android. Adobe AIR does not rely on the in-browser Flash Player and is not impacted by the unpub­lish change.  Pop­u­lar AIR video appli­ca­tion exam­ples include Watch­ESPN, iTV, and Snag­films.

To learn more about Adobe AIR based video deliv­ery, read the Adobe AIR mobile video deliv­ery guide.

(Por­tions of this page are repro­duced from work cre­ated and shared by Google and used accord­ing to terms described in the Cre­ative Com­mons 3.0 Attri­bu­tion License.)

Adobe Media Server 5 Professional and Adobe Access 4 Now Available

In May, Adobe intro­duced Adobe Media Server 5 and Adobe Access 4, along with Prime­time Simul­cast. Today, we’ve made Adobe Media Server 5 Pro­fes­sional avail­able through Adobe, selected resellers, and Ama­zon Web Ser­vices. This ini­tial release, when com­bined with Adobe Access 4, allows media com­pa­nies to stream pro­tected, stu­dio-grade con­tent using a sin­gle dig­i­tal rights man­age­ment (DRM) work­flow across desk­tops, con­nected TVs, tablets and smart­phones, includ­ing iOS and Android devices. Adobe Media Server 5 offers expanded stream­ing pro­to­col sup­port for pub­lish­ers to reach the broad­est pos­si­ble audi­ence via HLS, HDS and RTMP. In addi­tion, Adobe com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing MPEG DASH in the future.


Dynamic and offline prepa­ra­tion of pre­mium video con­tent to be streamed using HTTP and pro­tected with Adobe Access helps sim­plify work­flows and lower stor­age costs for secure deliv­ery of video to mul­ti­ple screens. Also avail­able today, the Adobe Access library for Apple iOS allows pre­mium video devel­op­ers to build the same trusted Adobe DRM capa­bil­ity they use for their desk­top apps directly into their apps for dis­tri­b­u­tion on Apple’s App Store.

Adobe Media Server 5 Pro­fes­sional is ini­tially avail­able on Linux with the remain­der of the Adobe Media Server pro­duct fam­ily and sup­ported plat­forms expected to ship this fall. See more infor­ma­tion about Adobe’s pre­mium video offer­ingsDown­load Adobe Media Server and Adobe Access tools.