Archive for April, 2016

Innovating for the Future: Video Experiences on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Devices

virtual-reality-headset

Providers of live, linear, and VOD content strive to engage viewers on all of the most popular screens – and there will soon be two new device types to add to the must-reach list. Virtual reality (VR) devices like Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, and Google Cardboard will be added first. A little further out, augmented reality (AR) devices like Microsoft HoloLens and Meta 2 will also belong on the list.

For content providers and distributors considering adding VR and AR devices to their own must-reach list, we have a must-read white paper titled “Capitalizing on Viewers’ Hunger for Virtual and Augmented Reality.” It puts the VR and AR opportunity into context in six key areas, and includes the following highlights:

  • Project the uptake of VR and AR devices: A recent survey by Deloitte found that 4% of US consumers surveyed already own a VR device. By 2025, analysts predict that hundreds of millions of consumers will own an immersive device.
  • Visualize VR and AR: Examples in the paper demonstrate the main difference between VR and AR headsets, which is that VR headsets completely immerse you in a virtual environment, while AR headsets augment the real world.
  • Consider how VR and AR may converge in the future: In 5 years or more, either VR will emulate AR or AR will be able to replicate VR experiences. This will allow consumers to enjoy a wider range of immersive experiences with a single device.
  • Explore ways to delight users with VR and AR viewing experiences: Virtual cinema experiences in VR are the most immediately practical opportunity to pursue on immersive devices because of the deep libraries of existing content. However, there are many more opportunities to consider including, social viewing in VR or AR, 180° and 360° VR video.
  • Understand the evolving device landscape: At the moment, three kinds of VR devices are poised to reach consumers. The three kinds of VR devices include VR headsets tethered to PCs (PC VR), VR headsets tethered to game consoles (console VR), and mobile VR headsets (mobile VR).
  • Learn about the investments Adobe is making to enable end-to-end video delivery in VR and AR environments: Adobe is investing in ways to extend its multiscreen TV platform, Adobe Primetime, to manage the end-to-end delivery of video experiences to VR and AR devices, with playback, DRM, and ad insertion capabilities. Innovations are focused on providing multiscreen content providers with virtual cinema capabilities and addressing the challenges involved with delivering and monetizing bandwidth-intensive VR and AR experiences to users at typical home broadband speeds. Additionally, Adobe will be adding VR and AR measurement capabilities into Adobe Analytics and other Marketing Cloud solutions.

The white paper can be downloaded here. Be sure to engage with the curated videos embedded in the paper. They will help immerse you into the world of VR and AR devices.

Future-Proofing OTT: New Partnership Solves for DRM Fragmentation

At NAB this year, we’re announcing a partnership that will allow Adobe Primetime customers to protect live, linear, and VOD content using the native DRM for every device and platform.

Our new multi-DRM solution, Adobe Primetime DRM, powered by ExpressPlay, will support:

  • Microsoft PlayReady to reach browsers including Internet Explorer and Edge on Windows and devices including Amazon Fire and Xbox
  • Google Widevine to reach browsers including Chrome and devices including those running Android
  • Adobe Primetime Access (formerly Adobe Access) to reach browsers including Firefox and legacy browsers on desktop
  • Apple FairPlay Streaming to reach devices including those running iOS

Adobe Primetime DRM is a hosted service that:

  • Reduces the complexity of managing and issuing DRM licenses
  • Reduces the number of authentication and entitlement systems that a provider needs to integrate
  • Leverages the highest level of content protection available on each browser or device
  • Works seamlessly with Adobe Primetime TVSDK

Adobe Primetime HTML5 TVSDK Now Available for Multiscreen Playback

Adobe leading the industry to deliver on the promise of HTML5

HTML5 has become an essential technology for delivering video experiences to desktop and mobile web browers, and to other environments that support the standard. Consider these numbers:18% of consumers are watching mobile video only or mostly in HTML5 environments, according to the IAB’s Mobile Video 2015 report. The report says that when consumers watch videos on their smartphone, 40% use the mobile web as much or more than mobile apps.

Adobe is excited to announce that our Adobe Primetime HTML5 player framework will soon be in general availability (GA). Players built using the new HTML5 TVSDK will benefit from the same level of quality, performance, and reliability at scale in our multi-platform TVSDK, which has become the industry’s gold standard with features including Instant On and complex ad insertion capabilities.

The new Adobe Primetime TVSDK capability supports video content and advertising playback in HTML5-compliant live, linear and on-demand OTT environments, including all modern browsers and mobile web. With HTML5 TVSDK, media companies can now reach more devices, monetize experience more effectively, and launch new direct-to-consumer and TV Everywhere services faster.

Adobe has a rich history with HTML5 and the Open Web. We believe that open source enables innovation and is, with open standards, a key enabler of modular and extensible architectures. By contributing to the open-source community and making our proprietary standards and products more compatible with open standards, we’re leading the industry to make the Web and digital video more immersive, interactive and engaging for everyone.

The best way to make HTML5 work for broadcasters

HTML5 alone doesn’t support everything that broadcasters need in order to manage multiscreen video distribution. It only partially solves for fragmentation, and it doesn’t provide unified ways to protect, monetize, and measure content across screens. However, technology providers can extend the capabilities of HTML5 with player technology and an underlying technology platform that caters to the needs of broadcasters. With the right solution set, HTML5 can form the foundation of a successful multiscreen distribution strategy.

TV Today: New Research from Adobe & TDG Shows Consumers Now Spend 42% of TV Time with OTT Services

Consumers’ video streaming behavior has fundamentally changed the competitive landscape of  the TV industry. Media companies now find themselves in a battle for attention, engagement, and audiences. To understand this competitive landscape better, we worked with The Diffusion Group to survey video streamers off all ages.

Here are a few of the key insights from this research. 

Among adult video streamers:

  • 42% of time spent in front of the television screen at home is spent with either subscription, transactional, or free streaming video services.
  • 65% of this OTT time on the home TV screen is spent watching subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), 30% is spent watching free streaming services (also known as FVOD), and 5% is spent watching transactional streaming services (also known as TVOD).

     Weekly hours spent watching OTT on a household TV among all adult video streamers, by age

streaming video survey image 1[2]
     Source: “Streaming Video Survey Analysis,” by The Diffusion Group, January 2016.

In the subscription streaming video category:

  • 82% of adult video streamers subscribe to some type of online subscription video service.
  • Netflix tops the list at 70% use among adult video streamers, followed by Amazon Prime at 33%, and Hulu Plus at 21%.

     Percent of adult video streamers using online subscription video

streaming video survey image 2[1]
     Source: “Streaming Video Survey Analysis,” by The Diffusion Group, January 2016.

In the free streaming video category:

  • 88% of adult video streamers use free online video services.
  • YouTube is by far the most popular free online video service. It is used by 83% of adult video streamers. It is followed by Hulu at 23% and Crackle at 19%.

     Percent of adult video streamers using free streaming video

streaming video survey image 3
     Source: “Streaming Video Survey Analysis,” by The Diffusion Group, January 2016.

In the transactional video category:

  • 34% of adult video streamers use a transactional streaming video service.
  • iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Instant View are the top three transactional streaming video services.

     Percent of adult video streamers using transactional streaming video

streaming video survey image 4
     Source: “Streaming Video Survey Analysis,” by The Diffusion Group, January 2016.

In the TV Everywhere category:

  • 17% of adult video streamers (who also subscribe to pay-TV) engage with their TV provider’s TV Everywhere app, while 12% engage with the TV Everywhere apps provided by TV networks. This is largely consistent with the most recent Adobe Digital Index Video Benchmark research.

     Familiarity and usage by type of TV Everywhere streaming service

streaming video survey image 5
     Source: “Streaming Video Survey Analysis,” by The Diffusion Group, January 2016.

These insights are just a small sampling of what’s available in the full report. It also covers consumers’ opinions on the impact of streaming video services on traditional TV, commercials and commercial avoidance, value of service, reasons for preferring one service over another, effect of original programming on streaming, future intentions for traditional TV, and more.