Adobe Primetime is at IBC 2015 — Now faster in playing back premium experiences across OTT and TV-E

We’re attending the IBC conference and exhibition this week in Amsterdam, and excited about being part of an event that is focused on the latest technologies and business models powering the creation, management, and delivery of digital content to consumers. Check out our press release on how Adobe continues to advance video from content creation through delivery, including highlights from Adobe’s Creative and Marketing Cloud.

At IBC, we are previewing the new and improved Adobe Primetime stack, which includes faster playback with the instant-on capability of our latest TVSDK, more mobile-friendly, frictionless authentication with OAUTH 2.0, and new support for OTT and TV Everywhere measurement in Adobe Analytics.  Stop by the Adobe booth in G27 in Hall 7 if you are attending the event to learn more!

TVSDK 2.0 Improves Engagement and Monetization Across Devices

Starting today, Adobe Primetime customers can deploy the latest TVSDK across devices with ease. Our goal with Adobe Primetime TVSDK has always been to help TV providers and media companies build and deliver premium video experiences across IP-connected screens. This upgrade continues to serve this goal by helping developers achieve greater performance for their TV experiences, deploy with greater consistency to all the different screens and reach more screens in total.

Key improvements include:

  • Faster startup time for live streams by up to 500%
  • A unified architecture that will enable faster deployments to new devices and more synchronized access to new features across devices
  • Extended delivery to new OTT devices including Xbox One.

TVSDK 2.0 improvements

As a result of these improvements, Adobe Primetime customers are more equipped than ever to engage and monetize audiences across devices.

Achieve greater performance

Video apps and experiences must quickly respond to increase viewer engagement. To meet this expectation, Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 includes many new features that are designed to speed up response times. One exciting feature called Instant On allows app developers to pre-fetch video content in order to start its playback in under a second.

In tests, Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 sped up a wide range of performance measures. In comparison to TVSDK 1.3, it had startup times for premium VOD content that were 3000% faster, startup times for premium live content that were 500% faster, a 300% improvement on the time it takes to insert ad breaks and a 250% improvement to the fast-forward and fast-rewind functionalities.

Deploy with greater consistency across more devices

Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 has a new, unified architecture that makes it easier for TV and video app developers to deploy premium video experiences consistently across devices. The architecture includes a C++ core with a thin, platform-specific API surface that talks directly to the core. That API surface is consistent across devices. The architecture also includes a single JavaScript interface for talking to browsers.

This unified architecture offers two key benefits. First, it makes porting Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 to new devices faster. Already, this ease of porting has extended the reach of Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 to Xbox One devices. Second, it makes the release of new features more synchronized across devices. Together, these benefits provide faster access to new devices and new features for Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 users.

Figure 2. Unified architecture of Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0

TVSDK 2.0 devices

Prepare to deploy to HTML5 environments

Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 paves the way to deploying premium TV experiences across HTML5 environments because it will serve as the fallback solution to TVSDK for HTML5. For example, if a customer deploys to desktop browsers with Adobe Primetime TVSDK for HTML5 but a viewer accesses it from a browser that does not support HTML5, TVSDK 2.0 will come in and provide the premium experience that the viewer expects to see.

Getting started

We’re excited to see Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 improve reach and monetization across devices. We’d like to help all our existing customers upgrade to Adobe Primetime TVSDK 2.0 as soon as possible. To get started, reach out to your Adobe Primetime account manager.

Adobe Primetime Nominated for Six Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards

Public voting is now open for the 9th annual Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards – where end users (you) choose the winners honoring the best online video technologies. We’re pleased to have Adobe Primetime nominated again for helping broadcasters, cable networks and service providers deliver and monetize engaging and personalized TV and film experiences across screens.

Adobe Primetime has been nominated in six categories – Closed Captioning Solution, DRM/Access Control Solution, Media & Entertainment Video Platform, OTT Platform for MSO and MVPD, Reporting & Analytics Platform (with Adobe Analytics), and Video Advertising Solution.

Please visit by Oct. 1 to see all nominees and cast your votes across 29 categories. All voters will receive a confirmation e-mail after voting closes. The top three finalists in each category will be announced on Oct. 15 and winners will be named on Nov. 18 at Streaming Media West. We hope to see you there and thanks for helping get out the vote for the Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards.


Video: Strategies to Deploy Multiscreen TV Experiences

Following our Digital Video Forecast presentation at the TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) Show in SF, the Head of Digital Products for Pac-12 Networks, Ryan Currier, and the Senior Manager Digital Research and Analytics at Shaw Media, Chris Hopkins, answered some key questions about deploying multiscreen TV experiences.

Watch a recording of the panel discussion to hear directly from Ryan and Chris their answers to questions including:

  • With the device landscape changing so rapidly, how do you prioritize getting onto all the different devices?
  • Everyone is talking about data. What is Shaw Media doing with audience data?
  • Which revenue models are important to Shaw Media and Pac-12 Networks?
  • How does viewership across devices vary by demo?
  • How are you thinking about programmatic?
  • Are buyers clambering for a new currency?
  • What does the TV of tomorrow look like?

The discussion hit on a few key takeaways. First, that quality is an essential consideration when rolling out TV experiences across devices. Second, that data went from a value add to table stakes. Third, that multiscreen experiences matter to all demos, not just Millennials. Be sure to watch the whole panel discussion in the video above.

Presenting our Digital Video Forecast from TVOT SF

In June, Adobe’s Joe Martin, Manager, Digital Index, presented a Digital Video Forecast presentation at The TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) Show in SF. This show is a global gathering for executives, technologists and creatives working in the interactive and multiplatform television industry. Joe shared a detailed analysis of trends impacting the industry, covering topics ranging from TV Everywhere to live streaming video apps.

Watch Joe’s full presentation in the video below and view the accompanying presentation slides.

Here are a few of the insights included in Joe’s presentation:

1. Over 13% of pay-TV subscribers were active monthly users f TV Everywhere in Q1 2015. That’s over 14 million people that are actively viewing TV Everywhere content.


2. There was a 4x growth in connected TV usage between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015. This indicates that viewers are moving back into the living room now that the technology is there to support their viewing preferences.


3. The number of ad starts per video start is growing the fastest on tablets and smartphones. This indicates the growing importance of mobile in video advertising.


For more insights like these, be sure to watch Joe’s full presentation in the video above.

The $18B Conundrum: Adblocking Goes Mobile and Mainstream

According to research from Parks Associates, password-sharing is costing subscription video-on-demand sVOD services north of $500MM per year. Compare that with adblocking, which is costing ad-supported content providers $18B a year according to a new report from Adobe and Dublin-based PageFair.

$18B. With a “B.” That’s 36x the amount of economic damage inflicted by password-sharing. Let that sink in. Now take a deep breath, and let’s look at the problem.

Cause for Concern

Historically, the challenges posed by adblocking have been limited to the desktop. However, as consumption of television and film content have shifted to connected and mobile devices, the threat of adblocking has abated, or at least become less dire. Two major factors are now causing grave concern among content producers who rely on advertising as their primary revenue source:

  1. Apple’s iOS 9 will likely include adblocking features in Safari by default.
  2. Adblock plus is now available in limited beta for Android.

Safari on desktop maintains a paltry 3% market share, but it is by far the most widely used mobile web browser due the iPhone’s dominance (and Google’s unusual reluctance to end-of-life the native Android browser in favor of Chrome for Android, a decision that would narrow the gap with Safari mobile). If Apple extends its Content Blocking API to native mobile app developers for iOS, and if Adblock Plus for Android gains traction, the results could wreak longer-term havoc for ad-supported broadcasters and cable networks who monetize distribution to mobile devices.

Currently, measurement is one of the key factors limiting uptake in linear broadcast to mobile and connected devices within the traditional C3 and C7 windows. But as Nielsen and other measurement services improve their ability to evaluate audience composition across screens, and as addressability and programmatic improve and become more widespread, more dollars will flow from traditional linear to OTT and TV Everywhere. Adblocking on mobile devices, however, has the potential to slow this movement to a trickle. Why execute a multiscreen TV buy if viewers on half the screens can’t see the ad?

The Way Forward

There are no easy or obvious solutions to the problem of adblocking. We agree with Univision’s Kevin Conroy, who argued compellingly that marketers play a vital role in making digital advertising better. Marketers need to continue telling the right story to the right person at the right time, of course, but they also need to do it in a way that delights, or entertains, or informs the viewer.

For agencies and advertisers, Adobe offers Creative Cloud, a complete suite of tools for effective storytelling, and Adobe Marketing cloud, a solution that delivers the message. And for broadcasters, cable networks and distributors who sell advertising, we offer Adobe Primetime, a multiscreen TV solution for creating and monetizing live, linear and VOD programming in both over-the-top (OTT) and TV Everywhere services. Our goal is to help customers leverage these solutions to deliver better consumer experiences and obviate the consumer desire to install adblockers in the first place.

This post was originally published on, August 10, 2015.

Data and Apps Fuel Innovation in the TV Industry

The TV industry is sailing into an uncharted ocean of innovation. Already, some of the most innovative TV services leverage data and apps to deliver exciting new content experiences. The following trends could help inform how your organization pursues innovation, too.

1. TV companies are investing in data

Turner, ESPN, and Cablevision have something new in common. They’re all investing in data management platforms (DMPs). Here’s what execs from these companies have to say about it:

  • Talking about Turner Data Cloud, Stephen Kim, Chief Data Strategist at Turner said, “We want to build a central repository of information around consumption, tastes, geography, demographics and profile information for our viewers, and use that to deliver better value.” (via AdExchanger)
  • Regarding the proprietary ESPN DMP, Zachary Chapman, VP of digital and publisher sales at ESPN said, “There’s no reason that we shouldn’t have a DMP in place that allows us to analyze the data in a much more fluid way, and share with our agency partners.” (via MediaPost)
  • Discussing Cablevision’s Total Audience Application, or TAPP census-data platform, Ben Tatta, president of Cablevision Media Sales said, “This is a window into what lies ahead.” (via AdAge)

Expect more investment in data management from TV companies in the near future.

2. TV apps already proliferate in Apple’s App Store

This month, we estimated that roughly 60% of brands representing TV channels have distinct apps in the App Store. We counted over 150 TV brands with one or more channels on a leading cable network of which over 90 brands had an app in Apple’s App Store. This fits right into a prediction made here last month by TDG Research’s Joel Espelien who predicted that every meaningful TV brand will have its own app.

Already, hundreds of TV brands have the ability to look at every single button press and view happening within their apps. They can collect this data and use it to inform new innovations and make the viewer experience even better.

3. TV apps will soon proliferate on Google Play

We expect apps for Android TV on Google Play to grow by double this year or better. There are currently 46 apps for Android TV. Sony, Philips, Razer and Nvidia have Android TV devices on the market and Sharp has devices coming soon. As consumers purchase these new devices, it will lure the developers of existing TV apps to port their apps over to Android TV. App ports alone could double the number of apps on Android TV this year.

The Android TV user experience may delight consumers that struggle to find the right content across various siloed TV apps because it provides recommendations and voice search features that span all installed apps. According to TV Connect, Thomas Riedl, Google’s Global Head of Android TV Partnerships says, “When in the Android TV home screen, you’ll see a row of content recommended for you. These recommendations come from all the Android TV apps you have installed on that device and is based on which apps you’ve used on that device.”

It’s anybody’s guess where innovations around data and apps will ultimately lead. However, we’re pretty certain that DMPs and the proliferation of TV apps all have important roles to play in the future of TV.

TDG Research’s Joel Espelien on OTT and the Future of Media

This week we spoke with Joel Espelien, Senior Analyst at TDG Research, a boutique market research and strategy consulting firm focused exclusively on the future of TV. Joel covers corporate strategy and positioning for companies across the OTT landscape. TDG Research is known for being ahead of the curve, so we used this talk with Joel to learn 7 insights that will help you be ahead of the curve, too.

Here are 7 insights directly from Joel:

1. OTT is evolving to be a synonym for broadband video. Sometimes terms evolve and you can’t control them. OTT is one of those terms. It’s evolving to refer to video that is delivered over the public internet, regardless of screen or whether it’s authenticated.

2. Broadcasters, MVPDs and pay-TV channels must consider consumer’s changing behaviors around when consumption occurs. It may be hard to embrace the fact that consumer participation in appointment viewing is fading. Younger generations won’t have any tendency to gather in front of a screen with other people between 8 pm and 11 pm on a Thursday night. The whole idea of being in front of a screen on anyone’s timetable other than the viewer’s own timetable is becoming laughable.

Furthermore, industry efforts to assign a timeframe to when viewing counts will continue to be arbitrary. The industry has C3 ratings to measure commercials viewed live and on DVR for three days beyond the airdate. C7 ratings extend the window to seven days beyond the airdate. Some in the industry want even longer windows, like C14 or C21. Each definition will capture part of a curve, but there’s always going to be a long tail that’s simply not captured by an arbitrary window. It’s silly to transact around the idea that all the views that matter for a new show will happen in the first 72 hours it’s available. Viewership is far more scattered than many may care to admit, and will only become more scattered as OTT grows. As a result, things like C3 and C7 measurement will carry less weight in the future.

3. More people are watching TV alone. The TV industry is in the early phases of addressing the need to program for an audience of one. There’s a big cultural shift moving people away from doing things as a family or as a group and toward doing things as individuals. With all the screens to watch from and all the choices about what to watch, it’s far less necessary for viewers to compromise with others about what to watch than it’s ever been before.

Individual viewing will become the new normal. This is a big contrast to the picture of a family in the ‘50s all huddled around the TV watching the same thing. And, it puts purely panel-based measurement into question because in panel households, there may be multiple people in a room, but probably only one person is really watching the show on TV. Everyone else could be doing their own thing.

This solo viewing trend suggests that content and advertising will become edgier, more particularized and even more incomprehensible to people outside the group consuming it.

4. Legacy pay-TV providers need to know more about the viewing behavior of those they serve. They need to have much more of a clue about what’s going on than they do today by studying engagement patterns across real people in real households. The majority of what they know about linear TV viewers is limited to what Nielsen provides. If a customer decides one day to stop watching linear TV entirely, but keeps paying his or her bill, the provider simply wouldn’t know. And that’s not a very good place to be in terms of making the right decisions on behalf of customers.

Compare the lack of data of a legacy pay-TV provider to a TV app like Netflix. Netflix knows everything its viewers watch down to the second, and they know which of their viewers hasn’t watched anything lately. This kind of customer feedback loop can be used to develop a re-engagement strategy, decide which programming to invest in, or to inform any number of other decisions. It’s the kind of feedback loop that legacy pay-TV providers should have.

5. The future of TV is an app. The genesis of this idea was inspired by the venture capitalist’s view, as expressed by Mark Andreessen, that software is eating the world. Software is eating transportation with Uber, and eating banking with mobile payments, and eating book sales with Amazon. But in TV, people were saying that people love it and that it’ll never change. And they’re wrong. Software eating TV looks like an app, and as the software component of TV, TV apps are going to grow substantially. Imagine offering 100 people a simple choice between HBO on a linear channel on a set top box or HBO GO on an iPad, Apple TV, or computer. Everyone that chooses HBO GO is proof that software will eat TV, too. It turns out that content is not king. Instead, the overall experience is king and people want a software-mediated experience because it’s fundamentally better.

6. Every meaningful TV brand will have its own app. Expect to see a lot more of the single-tenant app model where each TV brand has its own TV app. Ask any TV brand with its own app today if they are content or discontent with the model of having a dedicated app. The overwhelming answer would be, “I like my app just fine, thank you.”

One key benefit of the single-tenant app model is that the content provider gets to really understand the viewing behavior of the people it serves. It gets to look at every single button press, every single view of every screen. It can really look at usage and make the viewer experience even better. This is a huge incentive for every brand to have an app versus choosing to participate in one generic app that carries everything.

7. Broadcasters, pay-TV providers and pay-TV channels need a whole garden of viewer screens and viewers. There’s a healthy mix to be had across screens for broadcasters, providers and channels. It would be a big mistake to prioritize any one screen over all the others. Smartphones and tablets may have been the Trojan horse that allowed TV as an app to get started in the legacy world in the first place. Now, those permissions have to extend out further to allow TV apps to run on other devices too, whether it’s Apple TV, Roku, a smart TV or a gaming platform. People expect to see TV apps on every platform where apps can run and on every platform where Netflix is. TV brands with success on just one screen have to wonder, “Hey, why are we not able to engage people anywhere else in their lives?”

Where to find more from Joel

That’s a wrap on 7 insights that will help you get ahead of the curve. To explore these topics in more detail, check out Joel’s latest reports: “El Futuro de TV – OTT Video in Latin America 2015–2025,” “TV Gets Personal – Trends in Mobile Video Viewing 2015 – 2025,” and “Game On! The Future of Sports Video Viewing, 2015–2025. Joel is already working on some intriguing new topics including what the high-end of the pay-TV market is going to look like and the interplay between virtual reality and video. Thanks Joel for sharing your insights with us!

Online Video Viewing and Browsing Trends — Q1 2015

The Q1 Adobe Digital Index (ADI) report, which assesses OTT and TV Everywhere viewing behavior, shows that the streaming video space is still growing fast — and Apple is among the biggest beneficiaries. ADI’s analysis is published in the “Online Video Viewing and Browsing Trends — Q1 2015” report, which is the most comprehensive report of its kind in the industry. This report can help broadcasters, cable networks, and distributors plan how to respond to changes taking place in how consumers watch TV.

Highlights from the report include:

  1. Android falls behind in premium video viewing
    • iOS grew its share from 43% to 47% year-over-year (YoY), further widening its lead
    • Game consoles and over-the-top (OTT) devices saw the biggest jump in share from 6% to 24% YoY – surpassing Android, which remained flat at 15%
    • Browser viewing sank to a new low – now 14%

ADI - TVE Authentications by Device Type

  1. Apple TV sees strong gains
    • Connected devices like Apple TV and game consoles now represent 1 in 4 TV Everywhere (TVE) authentications – a 300% YoY share increase
    • Apple TV doubled its share of premium video viewing in just one quarter from 5% in Q4 2014 to 10% in Q1 2015 – overtaking Roku

ADI - Apple Share of Online Video Starts

  1. Consumers redefine primetime TV viewing
    • On-demand TVE viewing grew almost 300% YoY, increasing the importance of multiscreen delivery
    • The “Thursday night line-up” is shifting to Wednesday, making it the most popular night to watch TVE

See Adobe Digital Index’s full post on here, or get a copy of the report here.

Media Consumption Trends According to South Park

South Park’s season 18 series finale, “#HappyHolograms” paints a picture of the media consumption trends among America’s youngest generation, which we’ll call the post-millennials. In it, fourth-grader Kyle gets frustrated by the way his 5-year old brother, Ike, consumes media. Instead of playing video games with the fourth-graders in the living room, Ike and his kindergarten buddies prefer to watch videos on YouTube from the online video game commentator PewDiePie. Each kindergartener watches PewDiePie from their own desktop, laptop or tablet. Ike calls Kyle “grandpa” for being out of touch with the way he and his friends consume media.

South Park kids use many screens

This episode of South Park calls attention to the following trends:

  1. Consumption is shifting away from the living room - Kids aren’t using big screens in their living rooms as much as past generations, even to play video games.
  2. Kids’ preferred programming isn’t available on a TV channel - Young kids want to watch stuff like other kids playing games more than they want to watch typical premium content they’d find on a TV channel.
  3. Every kid gets their own screen - There’s less screen sharing going on. Every kid wants to choose their own content on their own screen.

Possible implications of these trends

If accurate, these trends will have major implications on the media industry.

First, the shift in consumption away from the living room means that the big screen probably won’t be on as often. Viewers may limit consumption to what’s available on their preferred device, and cross-screen TV delivery will be essential to keeping up time spent metrics. Even still, time spent metrics could drop if the content on TV isn’t the content viewers want. This South Park episode points out that TV content has to compete for viewers with all other sources of streaming video entertainment, such as the PewDiePies of the world.

If kids want episodes of PewDiePie more than TV shows, TV channels become less desirable to them because it creates a situation where they can’t get what they want on any TV channel. Young viewers are good at content discovery and therefore less reliant on TV programmers to keep a constant stream of entertainment coming their way. Understanding this trend makes discussions around a-la-carte channels almost mute. The youngest generation isn’t going to want to predict and pay for the channels they think they’ll watch. Instead, they’ll want on-demand access to everything. A lot of unbundling challenges, such as disagreements between programmers and MVPDs, could be avoided by recognizing that a-la-carte channels are still a compromise for viewers who actually want on-demand access to everything.

Finally, the rise of the personal screen could be good for TV providers that succeed in the leap to cross-screen delivery. Shared screens only allow ad targeting at the household level. Personal screens allow ad targeting at the individual level. The latter makes it easier for advertisers to match the message to the recipient and can thus command a higher value. So, the rise of the personal screen is the silver lining around some otherwise challenging trends.

Are the trends according to South Park accurate?

Media consumption data confirms that young kids are spending less time with traditional TV and more time watching video on the Internet. According to Nielsen, 2–11 year olds have increased monthly time spent with video on the Internet by 2 hours 42 minutes and decreased monthly time spent with traditional TV by 4 hours 43 minutes. However, time spent in traditional TV still looms large over time spent watching video on the Internet. Also according to Nielsen, kids 2–11 spent 106 hours and 27 minutes per month watching traditional TV in Q4 2014 versus only 6 hours and 22 minutes per month watching video on Internet.


An article by nScreenMedia about the Nielsen data says, “The astute reader will note that the increase in Internet Video viewing does not come close to compensating for the loss of TV viewing time.” The article suggests that people are watching on platforms and in ways which are just not captured. This suggestion lends support to the idea that South Park has an early insight into the media consumption behaviors to expect from post-millennials.

It’s hard to guess how the post-millennial generation will consume media when they get older. Perhaps they’ll decide to sit on couches, watch big screens and reclaim a spot in the living room. Or, perhaps they’ll continue on with personal media consumption on personal devices throughout their lives. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.