Adobe to Tackle 'TV Everywhere' With Primetime
Adobe Systems is due to announce the launch of Adobe Primetime, a package of tools to transform the way companies distribute TV over the web.
Designed to make it easier and cheaper to stream video over the web, the bundle of tools addresses every step of the process, from streaming smoothly to mobile devices, to authenticating subscribers, to protecting from piracy, to making money from videos by inserting targeted ads, and then measuring what's being watched and how well ads work.
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Content distributors will be able to more easily distribute a "true TV like experience" anywhere, to any device, according to Jeremy Helfand, Adobe's VP of Video Solutions. Adobe's tools also will make it easier to make money from those digital video streams. Offering content anywhere that boosts the value of the subscription, Helfand added, which should minimize cord-cutting.
"It gives content providers an opportunity to deliver content wherever consumers want to and gives them an opportunity to deepen the relationship they have w their subscribers," he said.
"TV Everywhere" looks like a multi-billion dollar market, and Adobe is hoping to grab a chunk of it with the Primetime application. The company has offered a number of these tools for a while, but now it's adding additional tools, and packaging them all together so it can allow companies to manage every part of the digital TV distribution process from a simple dashboard.
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Melissa Webster, the VP of Content and Digital Media at IDC, said she expects Primetime to boost Adobe's bottom line.
"I think this is a pretty dramatic new line of business hitting the market at the right time—it's certainly a multi-billion dollar market," Webster said. The TV industry—both broadcasters and service providers—are in the midst of a tremendous shift to digital distribution, which she believes will boost Adobe as consumers move more in that direction.
Adobe also released some new data showing just how fast the market is growing. According to a study of nearly 20 billion video streams of broadcasters content, the adoption of TV everywhere grew by 12 times in 2012 from 2011. Perhaps most striking, the amount of mobile viewing grew 300 percent. And the ad story offers some interesting potential: pre-roll ads now account for 82 percent of all video ad impressions, but post-roll ads generate three times the click-through rate of pre-and mid-roll ads. People have proven far more willing to respond to a call to action in an ad after their video is complete, according to Adobe.
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The first clients for Adobe Primetime's new system are Comcast Cable, CNBC's parent company, and NBC Sports. Comcast has incorporated the tools into its Xfinity streaming app, and NBC Sports is using them to deliver live sporting events.
Adobe does face a wide range of competitors, who offer various tools similar to the various pieces of Adobe's platform. We'll see if bundling and integrating its tools helps Adobe gain market share.
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—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin; Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin