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Adobe aims to cut TV Everywhere player tangle

Tue, 11/20/2012 - 1:15pm
Brian Santo

Adobe Systems has updated its video product suite with a common media player that can be embedded in apps for any mobile device, and the beta introduction of its ad insertion service.

There are plenty of media players available, but that’s actually a problem for companies who have to write apps for them all, and media companies who have to get content to different devices all based on different video formats. Adobe’s strategy is to offer its media player as a common player that can be adopted across the fragmented device market.

The company also integrated the data collection element of its ad insertion service, called MediaWeaver, with its existing analytics products, including SiteCatalyst. The integration allows a media company to map ad viewing behavior directly to traffic statistics, which enables media companies to analyze and potentially improve the effectiveness of advertising and promotions.

The introductions and the integration of products and services helps to tie together Adobe’s Primetime video platform, which includes components for formatting, publishing, and distributing video; the tools to play that video; tools to monetize the video (ad insertion, specifically); and the analytic systems to support the business of delivering content.

What is now being offered for beta use as Adobe MediaWeaver has been in use by NBC Sports, said Ashley Still, Adobe’s director of product management for video solutions.

The ad insertion service places ads into live, linear, and video-on-demand (VoD) content. It enables dynamic ad executions for video content in browsers and apps on any Web-connected device – buffer-free, the company claims.

Adobe also introduced Primetime Media Player, client software that can be embedded in apps. The player handles video and ads inserted with MediaWeaver, and also is the utility that manages the collection and reporting of usage statistics.

Adobe’s Flash media player is installed on 98 percent of PCs, according to Still, but it is barely found on mobile devices, and Adobe is not supporting its use there. Adobe Flash is the underpinning of the new Media Player. Media Player adds broadcast-specific capabilities such as closed captioning, ad insertion, and advanced analytics.

MediaPlayer, Still said, “is very lightweight, and has no impact on battery life.”

The company is distributing a software development kit (SDK) for Media Player that developers can use to insert the code in applications for any number of devices. Available as a beta today are an SDK for Windows, Mac OS, Android.  iOS and will also be extended to include web-connected platforms such as game consoles, OTT devices and connected TVs.

Meanwhile, the integration of Adobe MediaWeaver, Adobe SiteCatalyst, Adobe AudienceManager, and Adobe Auditude allows TV content owners and distributors to optimize their video and ad content.

Adobe SiteCatalyst gives TV content owners and distributors a deep understanding of consumer engagement with content and ads. By integrating it into Adobe AudienceManager and Adobe Auditude, this consumer engagement data can now seamlessly be used to activate audience segments and further optimize the ad experience and revenue, the company explained.

Various elements of the system have been used by NBC Sports, and the BBC.

During the Olympics, the BBC used elements of Primetime to supplement its three broadcast channels with an additional 24 online-only channels. Adobe took the incoming video, formatted it, and passed it on to a CDN for distribution. The BBC built its Olympics iOS app with Adobe’s tools.

With NBC Sport’s coverage of the games, YouTube did the video preparation, Still noted, but Adobe performed the authentication for Comcast Xfinity customers, and as mentioned above also performed ad insertion.

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