So, as I previously mentioned, I chatted with Adobe about their Project Primetime and its new features which they've just unveiled. Ashley Still, director of product management for video solutions at Adobe (whew!) talked with me about what is coming to Primetime, what it's all about and, most importantly, why you need to check it out.
Lights! Camera! PrimeTime!
Project Primetime is an integrated video platform, and not in fact a project centering on Deion Sanders (sorry "Primetime"). The goal of the project is to create an end-to-end solution for serving, monetizing, and optimizing premium video content for the best possible user experience and best revenue stream.
The focus of the platform started with a video player that was secure and allowed to content to be played on all devices. That is made up of Adobe Media Server and an SDK. Next was monetization which could allow for dynamic ad insertion into any content, being played on any device. That's accomplished through Adobe Pass and Adobe Auditude. Building on those pieces was an improved, more TV-like, user experience for both ads and content and finally, an integrated analytics package not just for the content but also for the ads themselves to optimize the revenue stream.
All of that has pretty much been in place. One of the true keys was the video player so they got to work on creating an integrated video player that works in Flash and could also be embedded in native apps on devices like the Microsoft Xbox, iOS devices and Google Android. The major benefit there is that it reduces the number of SDks that you need to implement and integrate and that equates to a quicker implementation and development cycle as well as a more manageable technical side of things.
Primetime Expands in 2012
Very much like the so-called primetime of television, Adobe's Project Primetime is far from a static set of things that will never change over time but rather be an ever-growing and expanding solution and so they announced new features and services for it now. The good thing is that, unlike TV, they don't need to get rid of good features and replace them with worse features...you know, like canceling a good show and replace it with some mediocre reality show.
This year, Adobe is focusing on several areas to expand the capabilities of Project Primtime, they are workflows, devices, highlights and Simulcast.
Let's start with Simulcast which, as the name alludes to, allows you to encode the content once and output it for both a broadcast workflow as well as an online workflow.
From there the broadcast can have the head-end or regional requirements added and then it is ready for broadcast. Meanwhile, the online content can get packaged and hosted and ads can be dynamically inserted based on device, user, location, etc.
What I really like about it all is that, theoretically, a show could be broadcast on TV and online at pretty much the same time and each could be customized for the format as well as the viewers. I can't wait for someone to start using that so I can compare one to the other...especially if they do it simultaneously! It also means that a broadcaster could sell an ad package that included both TV and online with either the same, or different creative content. Now that is power!
Here's Ashley Still talking all about Simulcast for Project Primetime:
The keys are to maximize ad revenue on both formats while reducing costs and overhead. It is also capable of supporting HDS, HLS and DASH. I also think the unstated goal, is to make the online experience just as comfortable for the viewer as the standard television experience is. No buffering, waiting for ads to load, etc. Just one continuous stream of content plus ads, like some television channels manage to produce.
Utilizing Adobe Access 4 and Media Server 5, broadcasters and use RTMP as well as the other three mentioned above to maximize their reach. The content can have DRM applied in one of two ways. Either it can be embedded in the content itself which means it doesn't need to call home to a license server, or you can have it do just that with Access 4 as your license management. It's all just one technology, for all platforms, including the newer iOS support.
It's all about Your Auditude
Don't get an attitude about Auditude, dude. Just trying to inject some humor into it all because the power of Project Primetime probably scares some people. Of course, those are the ones who think I've got a 'tude anyway, you know, the narrow-minded, can't see the future is online types. Luckily, they don't generally read what I have to say.
Adobe Auditude is getting a boost in capabilities now as well. It's getting integrated with AudienceManager which will identify audience segment and target with ad decisioning whenever the device and/or player is capable of doing so. This leads to increases in relevancy and conversion, with potentially great results.
Another enhancement is in the partner management area which can enable partners to sell portions of inventory to a single login. So, for example, you can partition your online or broadcast inventory and establish business roles, etc. Say you've got a syndicated video player inventory, well, it can be split so that a syndication partner could sell 50% of that inventory and you can sell the other 50% directly. Partners can then log into the Adobe Auditude UI in a controlled environment so that they can't see all of your other inventory, only what they are allowed to sell. It offers them some autonomy in their selling and offers the inventory holder the ability to apportion inventory to partners without them knowing who else is selling or how much there is, etc.
Finally, there have been some reporting enhancements, especially in the area of ad hoc reports, etc. All of it is aimed at getting the user the exact info they want, when they need it.
Primetime Highlights has been available since February and Simulcast is said to be ready in late 2012. The next generation of Adobe Auditude, Media Server 5 and Access 4 are all new as well. The full on Project Primetime with the fully integrated environment looks set to be ready for all users sometime in the second half of 2012 with support for Mac, Windows iOS, Android, Samsung Smart TVs and more. Perhaps late in the year.