Adobe Primetime Offers Modular TV Tools

Adobe announced the general availability of Adobe Primetime, a publishing and monetization platform for programmers and pay-TV service providers.

The platform integrates Adobe’s video publishing, player, digital rights management, advertising, and analytics solutions to help companies create and distribute digital video across screens.

Campbell Foster, marketing director for media and ad solutions for Adobe, says that Primetime will allow programmers to use a single toolset across all content and advertising, leading not only to more efficient workflow but also to better understanding of the performance of content and ads.

While most TV publishers handle content and ads separately, Primetime’s ability to analyze them together can lead to important insights, he says. For example, Primetime allows for “looking at how a specific ad impacts the viewership of the content. Did you see drop-offs over time? Was it the nature of the ad? Was it poorly targeted?”

Adobe has delivered the elements of Primetime as modular components, allowing customers to choose to use some products along with legacy tools, such as ad servers. “We’re not asking our customers to rip and replace all of their infrastructure investments,” Foster says.

The solution is built around Adobe Primetime player, which all customers need to deploy. The video publishing workflow uses Apple’s HLS video format, although it also supports Adobe’s HTTP Dynamic Streaming format. The other features, such as analytics are built into the player, and customers can turn them on via a software development kit. The company says that by incorporating HLS into the Flash player for desktops, TV content owners and distributors can deploy one consistent player while taking advantage of dynamic ad insertion and analytics.

Adobe said that Comcast Cable has incorporated Adobe Primetime’s media player, DRM, ad insertion and serving, and analytics across Xfinity web properties, while NBC Sports Group is using the tools to offer live and on-demand sporting events across devices.

Both companies were beta testers, Foster says, and helped shape the final products. For example, during the 2012 London Olympics, Comcast wanted to streamline authentications for its subscribers accessing video from mobile devices. Adobe and Comcast worked together to allow automatic access for subscribers when they were inside their homes, rather than making them log on via mobile.

Adobe announced the beta release of the product suite in November 2012. At that time, components were known as Primetime Media Player and MediaWeaver. Adobe said those would be “tightly integrated” with Adobe SiteCatalyst, Adobe AudienceManager, and Adobe Auditude.

The simplified product list and standard monikers of Adobe Primetime follow the company’s recent strategy for its digital marketing suite, now known as Adobe Marketing Cloud.

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