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Adobe's New Media Player: Will It Play With Users?

Adobe's headquarters in San Jose, California.
Adobe's headquarters in San Jose, California.

Today, Adobe unveiled its new media player with the idea of tapping into the market for online video that's been growing by double digits year-over-year.

The key to this new player? It works online and offline, and it's based on Adobe's new "Air" technology that works with any platform, Mac or PC.

This media player allows users to automatically download new content whenever they log on. It sends detailed information to advertisers about who watched what--giving that crucial information that allows for targeted commercials and gives media companies a new tool in monetizing their digital distribution.

How big will the media player be? CBS and Viacom have signed on to distribute select content for the player's launch. And the fact that Adobe already has such large marketshare against competitors Microsoft Windows Media Player and Apple'sQuicktime does give it a leg up.

But there's still the barrier to entry or critical mass: the fact that companies are reluctant to distribute through this new player until tons of people have already downloaded the player to their systems. No one wants to risk distributing in this format only to find users won't bother downloading the software, no matter how quick it is. To this end, the Viacom and CBS partnerships are a key start.

Check out the graph below of Adobe's stock performance over the past year. It's been suffering through downtime between product cycles. Between this launch and a new Adobe Acrobat software in June, the company's hoping investors will buy back in.

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Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.