Adobe wants its Flash player to the be the one stop shop for the TV Everywhere industry. With that in mind they've revealed the Adobe Pass, an authentication service which can gate premium content for cable and satellite operators as well as broadcasters online. The Adobe Pass is said to work with a variety of connected devices and I imagine that list is pretty much anything that can see Flash.
Adobe Pass is already in use at Turner Broadcasting who have tried to maintain a tight grip on their content and never got in bed with Netflix (Boo TBS!). The Turner TV Everywhere portal features content from their run of stations including TBS, TNT, MTV and the Cartoon Network.
That's a pretty big partner to open your show with. But they didn't stop there as they have Adobe Pass ready to go with Comcast, Cox Communications, Dish Network, and Verizon FiOS TV so users of those services can access Turner TV Everywhere with just one account.
BOOM! That's what we wanted Adobe, thanks for listening! Now, can you get everyone on board with that? I don't want twenty accounts to get my streaming media, I want one account that gets me to all of it and Adobe Pass could be exactly what the doc scribbled on the prescription pad.
I had also though this might be a threat to Netflix for a moment but I had blinders on. Ripping them off I found that Netflix could easily merge with the Adobe highway and use the Pass for ID purposes as well.
Here's another guy who sounds like he's on the right track and listening to the consumers as well. Jeremy Legg, Turner Broadcasting System's senior vice president of business development and multiplatform distribution said,
"It [Adobe Pass] makes MVPD integrations more simple, which enables us to get to market quickly and serve customers the content they want, where they want it."
Rah Rah Sis Boom Ba! This is really going to piss off those Adobe Flash haters when they will need to use it to get their content.
Adobe Pass is also going to allow content to hit the mobile and portable market, so smartphone and tablet people as well as Internet-connected couch potatoes can all get the video they want.
Adobe's fee structure is a pay per play one where each time a Play button is hit on a piece of content they'll ring up the content provider. Cha-ching!
Creating an account and integrating with the Adobe Pass system is free for partners if they are going to stream content from their own sites.
But what about all those non-Flash devices? Worry not Reel Readers! Adobe Pass has got Flash Access which means security and HTML5 for those iOS users out there. They say that content can be served up to a variety of platforms including Android, Blackberry, Google TV, iOS, Mac and Windows. Flash Player 10.1 (which some love and others hate) also offers security on the client side in order to cut back on fraud. Users can be bound to devices meaning we'll probably see something like only X devices per home. If it's five per person I would be OK with that since I've got my smartphone, PC, two game consoles and my netbook. Some of you might have something like Google TV, iOS device, PC, smartphone and something else. A family of four might need one device per user and perhaps a couple collective ones like PC and Internet-connected TV.
Adobe Pass has also teamed up with Brightcove and Limelight networks who will integrate the system and then be able to offer it to broadcast and cable operators as a white label TV Everywhere solution (nice job!). They say that the second half of the year will be right around when its ready.
"Most of the top TV brands we work with are planning or executing TV Everywhere projects right now, so the Adobe Pass technology is coming to market at the right time with an innovative approach that solves real problems," said Eric Elia, Brightcove vice president of TV solutions.
I was just writing about how Netflix was the answer. Perhaps, I spoke too quickly and in fact Adobe Pass is the answer. One Adobe Pass to bind them all...and in the glow of the LCD, unlock them...