Archive for June, 2016

New TVE Video Viewing Patterns Emerge in Q1 2016 Digital Video Benchmark Report

Adobe Digital Index’s latest Digital Video Benchmark Report shows new TV Everywhere (TVE) consumption trends, including a remarkable similarity between video viewing patterns from Q1 2016 and previous quarters.

For instance, in past quarters we’ve seen that:

  • TVE video viewing continues to rise

In Q1 2016, TVE video viewing grew 58% QoQ and 107% YoY. In the prior quarter, video viewing grew 29% QoQ and 102% YoY.



  • Authentications on TV connected devices continues to rise

In Q1 2016, TV connected devices (i.e. Apple TV, Roku, gaming consoles) accounted for 23% of all TVE authentications, representing a 15% growth YoY. In the prior quarter, TV connected devices accounted for 21% of all TVE authentications, representing a 31% growth YoY.


As of Q1 2016, we now see solid evidence that:

  • TVE viewers are not as “on-the-go” as originally thought

71% of all TVE viewers watched from one location in March 2016. And, this trend is nearly the same on mobile devices where 72% of mobile TVE viewers watched from one location.



  • Multiple devices are used when content is watched from only one location

In aggregate, single-location viewers watched 43% of their content on smartphones, 38% from desktops, and 19% from TV connected devices or gaming consoles in March 2016.


For more insights like these, access a full copy of the Q1 2016 Digital Video Benchmark Report.

Adobe and Apple Working Together to Advance the TV Everywhere User Experience

We’re pleased to announce today that we’re working closely with Apple to improve consumer adoption of TV Everywhere (TVE) and address key issues preventing TV Everywhere from reaching its full potential.

Apple announced today at its Worldwide Developers Conference a set of new authentication APIs in iOS and tvOS that enable Single Sign On (SSO) for TVE on Apple devices. Apple’s new authentication APIs will allow users to sign in using their pay-TV credentials, and once signed in, they will not have to sign in again as they’re moving from one TVE app to another.

Apple has also enhanced the user experience on Apple TV by moving to a single screen authentication process. Instead of seeing a registration code and using a laptop to authenticate, users will now be able to enter their username and passwords directly on the Apple TV screen.

Adobe is working to incorporate these new APIs into all Adobe Primetime authentication SDKs, ensuring efficient adoption by programmers. Adobe Primetime is the market leader in TV Everywhere, powering authentication for 95% of broadcaster and cable network sites and apps in North America today.

Adobe will continue to work with programmers, MVPDs, device manufacturers and other partners to make TV Everywhere a seamless, enjoyable user experience, and let consumers access content just as easily as they do today on TVs.

Five Takeaways from TV of Tomorrow San Francisco

At TV of Tomorrow, a conference for the multiplatform TV community, panelists discussed and debated many of the trends impacting the TV industry. The open exchange among leaders in the community provided actionable ideas for addressing the cord-cutting market, increasing TVE penetration, tackling the November elections, and making more compelling content recommendations for viewers.

TOVT Discussion SF

Check out these five takeaways:

  1.     TV Everywhere will grow when MVPDs reduce the sign-in friction. Research shows that many pay-TV subscribers abandon TV Everywhere apps and sites when they hit a sign in wall. To prevent this drop-off, MVPDs can use Home Based Authentication to provide instant access to shows, movies, and sports, inside subscribers’ homes, without having to ask for a username and password. One MVPD has seen their TV Everywhere users double in the past six months with Home Based Authentication.
  2.     Virtual MVPDs have an opportunity to differentiate their services from subscription video on demand (SVOD) services like Netflix by distributing live TV over the Internet in a compelling way. The opportunity is particularly compelling in the news and sports categories, where viewers place a premium on live content. As a result, expect more strategic partnerships to form between virtual MVPDs and programmers of live news and sports.
  3.     Political advertisers in the upcoming elections will put a premium on data-driven media. For instance, these advertisers are looking for ways to identify and target “cross-over” audience segments, which could shift their support from one candidate to another, and “undecided” segments that have not yet chosen a candidate to support. TV sellers are now in direct competition with digital platforms like Facebook and Google for these political advertising dollars.
  4.     The multiplatform TV community agrees that personalized content recommendations are good for viewers and can increase their time spent with TV Everywhere. However, not all players in the community have a deep enough data set to make good recommendations. For example, TV networks often don’t have the depth of content they need to make recommendations within a genre. To solve this problem, companies within the multiplatform TV community can work together to share data so that all players have enough information upon which to make good recommendations. This data can then be used for both ads and content to drive ROI.
  5.     Within ten years, iOT sensors and services will be fully integrated within the household firewall, including those that can distinguish which family members are sitting in front of a screen, ready to begin a viewing session. We may be headed for a future where your TV turns on and recommends content to you at just the right moment in your day. Imagine sitting on the couch after dinner and having your TV turn on and say, “Would you like to watch the news again today?”

Growing TV Everywhere Adoption to 70%, Part 3: Reducing Sign In Friction

Do you want TV Everywhere to reach 70% of pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2017? I’ve outlined here why this is possible and I’ve shared some ideas for getting over the first hurdle to adoption, which is the awareness hurdle. However, before investing significantly in driving awareness, there’s another hurdle to address. It’s the cumbersome sign in process where pay-TV subscribers have to enter in their username and password in order to watch TV Everywhere.

The current state of TV Everywhere sign in

Currently, TV Everywhere sites and apps ask pay-TV subscribers to sign in with a username and password once every 30 days, on average. If pay-TV subscribers switch to a different TV Everywhere site or app, they may be asked to sign in again. Consumers do not like these sign in requirements and they’re causing consumers to go elsewhere to view entertainment content.

Put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes for a moment. Joe comes home from a long, hard day at work and tries to catch up on his favorite show from a TV Everywhere app on his Roku box. He hits the sign in wall and gets frustrated that he can’t just watch the shows he’s paying for. He exits the TV Everywhere app and opens YouTube where he watches a video blogger he likes instead.

Studies from CTAM and Hub Research have confirmed consumers’ propensity to leave TV Everywhere apps and sites, and seek alternative sources of entertainment, when they come to a sign in wall. Specifically, studies have shown:

Research shows that the majority of online TV viewers would rather watch free or pirated video than enter a username and password to watch premium TV online.

The ideal TV Everywhere sign in experience

In place of the current sign in experience, the ideal experience would be for viewers to move directly from discovering shows to watching shows without hitting a sign in wall at all.

If watching TV Everywhere was more like watching traditional cable or satellite TV — where there is no username or password to enter — viewers would use it more and be happier with the experience. In addition, all efforts to drive awareness of TV Everywhere would be more effective because users would easily progress along the TV Everywhere journey from awareness, to trial, to repeat usage.

The benefits of reducing sign in friction

There’s a lot to gain by reducing sign in friction. It makes pay-TV subscribers more likely to try TV Everywhere sites and apps and become repeat users. In turn, this leads pay-TV subscribers to become more loyal to their pay-TV provider and to TV networks. For instance, research by The Diffusion Group identified four ways that using TV Everywhere improved consumers’ perceptions of pay-TV providers and TV networks, which are illustrated in the chart below.

Change in consumers’ perceptions due to TV Everywhere use

Q: To what extent has your use of these [TV Everywhere] TV streaming apps changed your perception of the following?

Impact of TV Everywhere Usage on TV Brands

Source: “Streaming Video Survey Analysis,” by The Diffusion Group, January 2016.

Three ways to reduce sign in friction

The industry has at least three ways to move closer to the ideal sign in experience. Industry players can use Home Based Authentication (HBA), support single-sign on, allow persistent authentication, or implement all three options.

Let’s look at these options in more detail.

  1. Use Home Based Authentication
    With Home Based Authentication (HBA), sites and apps that support TV Everywhere can verify subscribers’ access from within the home without asking for a username and password. When one leading multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) implemented Home Based Authentication (HBA), it saw an 82% increase in unique users of TV Everywhere and a 32% increase in engagement with TV Everywhere. This  infographic covers everything you need to know about Home Based Authentication including how to get started. 
  2. Support single sign on
    Single sign on is an authentication process that permits a user to access multiple sites and apps. It can allow a pay-TV subscriber to authenticate once and then jump from site to app to site watching whatever TV Everywhere content that they want without running into any sign in walls. It can work with Home Based Authentication so that a pay-TV subscriber can access the hundreds of TV Everywhere sites and apps from home without ever having to enter their username and password. Or, it can work outside of the home by asking just once for a username and password and then applying that verification to all TV Everywhere sites and apps.
  3. Allow persistent authentication
    Persistent authentication is a capability that keeps audiences logged in forever. Instead of timing privileges out at the end of a viewing session or at the end of a day or even after 30 days, it can keep subscribers authenticated as long as their TV Everywhere consumption adheres to the rules. For example, as long as subscribers don’t participate in password sharing, pay-TV subscribers that are authenticated once can stay authenticated.
  4. Implement all of the above
    The ideal TV Everywhere experience, where viewers can move directly from discovering shows to watching shows without hitting a sign in wall, can be accomplished by implementing Home Based Authentication, single sign on, and persistent authentication. Home Based Authentication would allow pay-TV subscribers to access TV Everywhere sites and apps without having to enter a  username and password. Then, single sign on would let pay-TV subscribers navigate all TV Everywhere sites and apps as an authenticated user. Finally, persistent authentication would keep pay-TV subscribers authenticated forever. Overall, this will provide a welcoming experience to new TV Everywhere users and will help retain existing TV Everywhere users.

Working together to grow TV Everywhere adoption to 70%

This is the third article in a four-part series that aims to spark the actions that will help the pay-TV industry take TV Everywhere adoption to new heights. In the first article, I provided an overview of the awareness, sign in, and discovery stages of consumers’ TV Everywhere journey. In the second article, I shared some ideas for increasing consumers’ awareness of TV Everywhere. In this article, I covered how to reduce sign in friction. My next and final article in the series will explore what needs to happen with content discovery in order to drive adoption.

Adobe Primetime Receives “Most Significant Impact” Award at TVOT Show

TTVTThis week, we’re attending the TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) Show in San Francisco alongside many of our customers and partners to collaborate and learn about the current and future state of the TV industry. It’s been great connecting with so many different industry players around what’s needed to move the industry forward, technological advancements, and emerging business models that will take TV to the next level with a more personalized, engaging and relevant consumer viewing experience across screens.

Last night, [itvt]‘s 13th Annual Awards for Leadership in Interactive and Multiplatform Television were presented and Adobe Primetime was honored with the “Most Significant Impact Award.” Thank you to the TVOT Show committee and judges for presenting us with this award. It truly reinforces the impact Adobe Primetime has had on the industry over the past year…and we’re not slowing down.

Adobe’s Art Mimnaugh (left) accepts the award on the Primetime team’s behalf

With the help of Adobe Primetime’s partner ecosystem, we’re committed to delivering the best TV delivery and monetization solutions to our customers that will ultimately benefit consumers when and where they want to watch their favorite content.

If you’re attending the TVOT Show, check out my panel today at 9:10 a.m. on “Discovery, Personalization and the TV User Experience,” where I’ll be discussing the latest developments shaping tomorrow’s TV user experience alongside Alticast, Digitalsmiths, Next Media Partners, Tru Optik, and Viacom. We also have our resident TV Everywhere expert, Horia Galatanu, speaking on a panel at 2:45 p.m. today on “Strengthening the TV Everywhere Proposition,” which will dive into how TVE can protect pay-TV from cord-cutters and cord-shavers (as well as increase its appeal to cord-nevers).

Join us for IAB’s TV 2020 Webinar at 2pm on June 15th

Media executive imagines the future of TV.

Do you want to drive revenue by planning and selling holistic TV and digital advertising campaigns? If so, the IAB is hosting a must-see webinar for you on Wednesday, June 15th at  2:00 pm EST titled, “TV 2020: Clear Vision of the Future of TV Advertising.”

In this visionary webinar, presenters from the IAB, Videology, AT&T AdWorks, and Adobe, including Primetime’s VP, Jeremy Helfand, will discuss the declining silos of ad delivery, measurement and optimization.  They will also be discussing the ROI of leveraging cross-platform marketing initiatives.

Register now to reserve your seat.

5 Hurdles to Creating and Distributing Content in VR and How to Overcome Them

Virtual Reality Glasses

Consumers are leaning into virtual reality (VR), which unlocks the opportunity to create 360° VR video content and distribute it, along with your existing 2D video content, to VR headsets. As consumer uptake of VR headsets grows from the low millions today to the hundreds of millions that analysts are predicting by 2025, the opportunity will only get bigger.

We’re already seeing early indicators that video viewing will be a killer app on mobile VR headsets. For instance, Road to VR reports that 7 out of 10 of the most used apps on Gear VR are video-based. According to Oculus about 80% of Gear VR’s active user base of over 1 million consumers are using VR video apps.

If you’re in the business of creating and distributing content, the momentum behind video viewing in mobile VR headsets may inspire you to ask questions like, “What are the hurdles to creating 360° VR video content and distributing all my video content to VR headsets? And, what are the best ways to get over the hurdles?”

We answer these questions here by sharing 6 of the hurdles that media and entertainment companies face and how to overcome them.

Hurdle 1: Capturing high-quality, spherical video

To use the full capabilities of VR headsets, you’ll want to create and distribute 180° and 360° VR video. Of course, you can also repurpose existing 2D video assets in virtual cinema applications. However, adding some unique 180° and 360° VR video to your 2D library of existing assets can help attract audiences to your VR app over others. For this, you’ll need camera gear that’s capable of capturing high-quality, spherical video.

Recommendation: Adobe Primetime recommends choosing one of the following three leading options for capturing high-quality, spherical video. You can use Nokia Ozo to capture high-resolution stereoscopic 360° video. It’s one device with eight video sensors rather than a multi-camera rig, which gets multiple cameras working together. Alternatively, you can also use one of two recommended multi-camera platforms.

If you take the multi-camera platform route, you can choose between Google’s multi-camera platform specification, Google Jump, or Facebook’s multi-camera platform specification, Facebook Surround. With Google Jump, companies like GoPro are making it easy to assemble a compatible multi-camera rig. For instance, GoPro Odyssey is a multi-camera rig that leverages Google Jump to get 16 HERO4 camera modules working together as one. With Facebook Surround, Facebook says that assembly of a compatible multi-camera rig will be possible by this summer with off-the-shelf components.

Hurdle 2: Stitching high-quality, spherical video into 2D or 3D 360° VR video files

It’s not enough to just capture high-quality, spherical video with multiple video sensors or multiple cameras. The footage that is captured needs to be stitched together. For 2D 360° VR video, the footage needs to be stitched and mapped onto a sphere. For 3D 360° VR video, the footage needs to be stitched and mapped onto two spheres, one for each eye that looks into the VR headset.

Recommendation: If you follow the recommendation for capturing high-quality, spherical video, stitching will be relatively easy because each of the recommended cameras has dedicated software for stitching that’s optimized for the specific camera platform.

Hurdle 3: Choosing what formats and 3D geometry to use for archival and distribution

Standards are still evolving in 360° VR video, which can complicate your choice of file types for things like archival and distribution. Beyond video formats and codecs, there are important choices to make like the geometry of 360° VR video. Do you choose equirectangular projections? Pyramidal projections? Cubemaps?

Recommendation: For archival, we recommend storing the highest possible resolution, equirectangular projection in a mezzanine video format. With all your 360° VR videos in this archival format, you can convert them at the time of distribution to whatever geometry and whatever file types makes the most sense. For example, if you’re uploading to Facebook, they will accept a high resolution equirectangular projection and convert it on their end to their preferred format and geometry.

Developing-VR-in-UnityHurdle 4: Developing apps on Android, Windows, and PlayStation

A lot of companies are trying to be “The Netflix of VR.” However, Adobe understands that top-tier media and entertainment companies want to be able to control the experience end-to-end, and that means creating your own VR-enabled app capable of reaching the widest number of VR headsets. This means you have to overcome the hurdle of multi-platform development and make an Android, Windows, and PlayStation app as well as follow the new paradigms inherent to 3D development.

Recommendation: Game engines, either Unity or Unreal Engine, are ideal tools for developing a multi-platform app for VR video viewing. For smaller development teams of five people or less, we recommend Unity because it’s easy to use and it abstracts the complexity of dealing with different VR headsets. Larger development teams may wish to consider the Unreal Engine because it can better integrate into existing source control systems and because it provides source code. Both options have extremely attractive pricing.

Hurdle 5: Protecting content and enabling business models

There are two reasons to provide content protection in VR apps. First of all, content protection capabilities in VR apps can enable business models such as rental content or subscription content. Second of all, when delivering licensed content to any app, including VR apps, the TV and movie studios tend to have very strict content protection requirements that must be honored. If your VR app includes content protection, you can honor these requirements.

Recommendation: At the moment, virtual cinema apps need content protection to both enable business models and meet the content protection requirements of studios. In contrast, 360° VR video apps may only need content protection to enable business models because content owners’ requirements for protecting 360° VR video tend to be less restrictive. For both virtual cinema and 360° VR video apps, Adobe Primetime’s multi-DRM solution called Adobe Primetime DRM, powered by ExpressPlay, will stay current with the native DRM systems that each VR headset chooses to adopt.

Overcoming all five hurdles

There’s clearly a learning curve to creating 360° VR video content and distributing it, along with your existing 2D video content, to VR headsets. It involves becoming good at:

  1. VR white paperCapturing high-quality, spherical video
  2. Stitching high-quality, spherical video into 2D or 3D 360° VR video files
  3. Choosing what formats and 3D geometry to use for archival and distribution
  4. Developing apps on Android, Windows, and PlayStation
  5. Protecting content and enabling business models

Once you’ve overcome these five hurdles, you’ll find it easier to explore the new frontier VR content creation and distribution. Now that you know what’s involved with creating and delivering VR video content, are you ready to reach viewers in VR environments? In our white paper titled “Capitalizing on Viewer’s Hunger for Virtual and Augmented Reality” we share six different ways to engage users with immersive viewing experience and help readers chart out a VR strategy.