Archive for April, 2017

Adobe Report: TV Everywhere Thrives on Every Device

Adobe Digital Insights 2017

20.5% of all cable TV households are actively using TV Everywhere (TVE), according to the latest State of Digital Video Report by Adobe Digital Insights (ADI).

This increase in video viewing is spread more evenly across devices than ever before.

Share of TVE Video Starts by Access Type

In 2015, if a TV provider had to ignore one platform, the video viewing data would have pointed to the TV connected device (TVCD). However, between 2016 and 2017, TVCDs surpassed desktop devices in share of TVE video starts. And, TVCD is the only device type with accelerating year-over-year (YoY) growth.

Today, if a TV provider had to deprioritize one platform, the data would point to the desktop browser. However, at 22% of TV Everywhere video starts, the desktop remains a critical screen for digital video distribution.

The streaming TV business is a cross-device business

For the foreseeable future, streaming TV providers will continue to face the challenge of optimizing their content to mobile devices, TVCDs, and desktop browsers. 

There are some pronounced differences between these platforms that add to the challenge.

1. Video junkies are on the move. 24% of TV Everywhere accounts accessed from a smartphone are viewing the majority of the videos from 3 or more locations. So, the heaviest users of smartphone video are consuming content while they are out and about.

Smartphone Share of TVE Usage by Location

2. Millennials are keen on mobile video consumption. 75% of millennials watch TV or movies at least once a month on mobile devices while only 54% of older generations share the same viewing habits.

How Frequently Do You Watch TV/Movies on a Mobile Device?

3. Consumers are very selective on smartphones. Unauthenticated video starts per visit have decreased by 31% on smartphones and 23% on desktop since 2014. This trend clearly illustrates that consumers’ time on a smartphone is very precious, with smartphone users starting 42% fewer videos per visit than desktop viewers.

Online Content Video Starts Per Visit

4. TVCDs lead TVE growth for video starts. TVCDs grew by 349% over the past two years and is the only segment whose growth continues to accelerate. Both mobile (phone / tablet) and browser video starts grew at less than 20% YoY after stronger gains the year before.

TVE YOY Video Start Growth by Access Type

5. The cost of TVCD video ads increased at nearly twice the rate of TV spots. CPMs for video ads are growing at a higher rate than the costs of traditional TV, mobile search and display ads. Only the cost of Super Bowl advertising has grown at a higher rate since 2014.

Cost of Advertising Increase from 2014 to 2016

The TV Everywhere model is gaining traction

These video consumption trends favor ad-supported TVE providers. As consumption increases on TVCDs, these providers will have more ad inventory on the biggest screens in the household. And, as mobile consumption increases, media companies will have more ad inventory on the most personal device that consumers carry with them. Combine that with the fact that the cost of video ads continues to accelerate, and the future looks bright for TVE.

Ooyala Taps the Power of Adobe Experience Cloud

A man watches a major broadcasting event

Adobe has powered the digital delivery of some of the biggest broadcast events in history. Through Adobe Primetime and the Adobe Experience Cloud, the largest media companies are able to deliver video content at scale, monetize audiences effectively through video advertising and leverage data to personalize the overall viewer experience. 

Ooyala, a global provider of video monetization technology and services, announced today that they are tapping into Adobe Primetime capabilities for cross-device video playback and monetization. This will enable media companies of any size and in any region, to take advantage of the most reliable and scalable broadcast technology used by Turner, Comcast, NBC Sports, Disney and others for delivering great video experiences across any screen. 

More than ever, it’s critical for media companies to get this right. The advancements of mobile and TV connected devices have pushed video to the forefront. A recent survey from Deloitte finds that binge-watching is becoming the norm: 73% of U.S. consumers claim to binge-watch and nearly 90% of Millenials and Gen Z say the same, with almost 40% doing so weekly. The way in which audiences are consuming video is shifting as well. In the State of Digital Video report from Adobe Digital Insights, TV Everywhere video starts increased 102% in two years. It’s clear that audiences are consuming more video, but viewers are also fragmented across devices and have increasingly high expectations for quality and personalization. 

The pace in which digital viewers are shifting their consumption habits will continue to accelerate, especially with trends like mobile-first giving way to mobile only and the rise of TV returning to the living room via devices like Roku and Apple TV. Media companies have found that the new battleground for consumer mindshare increasingly rests on great experiences that are engaging and relevant. Especially in a booming area like video, maintaining the status quo will no longer be enough. Adobe and Ooyala are here to help.

Making the Transition to HTML5 Video with Adobe Primetime

Transition to HTML5

Streaming TV providers face a big challenge: transitioning from Flash to HTML5 to reach as many screens as possible.

At Adobe, we understand this challenge. We've helped major media companies transition successfully to HTML5, and have a long history of delivering quality, reliability, and performance at scale. We ensure that even companies with the most sophisticated requirements can deliver HTML5 video everywhere it runs, including mobile and web browsers, as well as apps on Android, iOS, Smart TVs and connected TV devices such as Chromecast and Amazon Fire.

To help media companies migrate from Flash to HTML5, we’ve developed The Ultimate Technical Guide for the Flash-to-HTML5 Transition.

  • Part 1 addresses HTML5 basics, including how HTML5 video evolved from a basic industry standard with limited usefulness for broadcasters, to a mature stack that now addresses premium TV use cases.
  • Part 2 covers HTML5 security, including why we need DRM in HTML5 and the fundamentals of how it works.
  • Part 3 discusses HTML5 deployment best practices for multi-DRM, ad insertion, and cross-device optimizations.

Here, in Part 4, we conclude with eight ways that Adobe can help smooth the transition to HTML5 video.

1. Leverage the technical optimizations of an established video technology platform

If you go down the path of building your own HTML5 video player, you'll quickly realize that solving for the problem of fragmentation across browsers, devices, and platforms is not the best use your developers' time.

Adobe Primetime increases developer productivity by 59% by handling browser, device, and platform optimizations for you. It includes a smart heuristic engine that understands the capabilities of each playback environment and makes any adjustments needed to provide a seamless consumer experience. Primetime provides advanced streaming TV features, including hosted multi-DRM, ad insertion, a flexible UI framework, and analytics that work everywhere your viewers watch your content.

2. Get to market faster with an advanced UI framework

Our customers deploy rich, engaging viewer experiences quickly because Adobe Primetime includes a flexible UI framework that can be modified based on your needs. It supports advanced UI features such as multi-view, picture-in-picture, multi-language, and closed captions.

Advanced UI Framework

The Primetime UI framework also includes advanced advertising features to support seamless pre-, mid-, and post-rolls, VPAID ads, and advanced integrations with a broad range of rich media formats.

3. Solve for ad insertion into DRM-protected content

Adobe Primetime is addressing the challenge of ad insertion into protected content by supporting DRM and ad insertion in the player natively. Adobe Primetime can be used to insert ads into MPEG-DASH CENC and encrypted HLS streams, which addresses the majority of HTML5-compliant browsers. With Adobe Primetime, ad insertion into DASH content is handled almost exactly the same as ad insertion into HLS content. For example, creative repackaging and ad rules work for DASH just like they work for HLS, and Adobe Primetime manages the complexity of the nuanced differences between HLS and DASH.

Adobe Primetime will also be able to insert ads into DRM-protected DASH or HLS streams within the Common Media Application Format (CMAF) container format. CMAF is bringing the industry close to a truly unified DRM-protected format. CMAF has been designed to allow fMP4 segments used with MPEG-DASH to coexist with HLS, rather than competing with or supplanting HLS. Our white paper on CMAF covers this topic in more detail.

4. Drive revenue with viewability and advanced advertising integrations

Adobe Primetime works with its customers to enable the viewability and advanced advertising integrations that help drive ad revenue. Many of our customers request viewability integrations with companies like Moat because viewability data helps them optimize for viewability and sell their inventory at higher CPMs.

Other capabilities that we support include HTML5 VPAID advertising and other rich media formats. HTML5 VPAID support is a must-have for ad-supported streaming TV providers following on the heels of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)’s recommendation to eliminate Flash video ads by July 2017. Adobe Primetime fully supports HTML5 VPAID and Adobe participates actively in the IAB working group driving digital video technical standards. With a browser TVSDK and a native TVSDK for iOS and Android apps, Adobe Primetime provides companies that rely on VPAID with the tools needed to run ads on as many screens as possible.

5. Benefit from streaming video optimizations without doing any of the work

Adobe Primetime continuously works to reduce live latency, improve video startup times, and provide a seamless playback experience. For example, we're currently working on delay-free live streaming with HTTP/2. We've successfully built innovations into our platform like Instant On, which reduces startup time to half a second or less. We've also built smart algorithms into our platform, including bitrate stabilization switching for unstable network connections. This work ensures that Adobe Primetime customers get the benefit of streaming video optimizations without allocating developer resources.

6. Use the measurement solutions that are the best for your business

Media companies and advertisers have suffered from a lack of standardized measurement for streaming TV since about 2010, when consumer demand for streaming really started to pick up. This lack of measurement has now been largely solved through innovations from Adobe, Nielsen, and comScore.

There are two ways to measure streaming TV today: via traditional or digital ratings. You'll soon be able to read about these options and the products that make them possible in our upcoming "Digital Measurement for Streaming TV" white paper.

Regardless of which measurement option is utilized, there are two primary reasons why implementation is easier for Adobe’s media customers. First, Adobe Analytics for Video has released Adobe Certified Metrics, the now standard, certified video implementation through the Adobe SDK that can be used as the census input to audience measurement partners. This SDK fully integrates comScore and Nielsen measurement through the video enablement implementation stage in Adobe Analytics. Second, the Adobe Primetime TVSDK is pre-integrated to fully support the Adobe Certified Metrics SDK. With this, video measurement is enabled by configuration rather than code.

7. Boost viewer engagement with Adobe Primetime recommendations

Adobe Primetime customers can use viewing data from Adobe Analytics to offer personalized video recommendations to each viewer. This is done with Adobe Primetime recommendations, which helps streaming TV providers boost engagement.

Adobe Primetime recommendations has four key advantages. First, it makes the most relevant video recommendations for each viewer using a massive data repository and multiple industry-leading personalization algorithms. Second, it continuously optimizes the recommendations through the use of A/B and multivariate testing. Third, it provides an instant playback experience by telling the Adobe Primetime TVSDK which recommended videos to preload with Instant On. Fourth, it addresses the “cold-start” challenge by using existing analytics data to provide relevant recommendations when a user first engages with video content.

8. Maintain the broadest reach with a Flash fallback solution

HTML5 is the preferred video playback option for modern browsers, devices, and platforms, and all major desktop browsers have announced plans to default to HTML5 media playback, according to the IAB. However, consumers will continue to use legacy browsers that do not support HTML5 video for some time.

In legacy environments, Adobe Primetime customers benefit from our Flash video fallback solution. By delivering HTML5 video wherever possible and then reverting to Flash video everywhere else, Adobe Primetime provides the greatest possible reach in modern and legacy environments while supporting the same feature set across our HTML5 and Flash fallback solutions.

A smooth transition to HTML5 video with Adobe Primetime

If you're leading an organization through its transition from Flash to HTML5, choose a path that allows you to move quickly and effectively. Adobe has anticipated and solved the challenges involved with the transition to HTML5, and we look forward to continuing to help industry participants adapt the latest and most robust open technology standards.