Adobe Announces “Simulcast” Solution to Make Cross-Device Viewing More Like TV

Written on
May 22, 2012 
Brian LaRue  |

ADOTAS - Today, Adobe released an updated version of its Project Primetime video platform for delivering television content over connected devices, adding the capacity to place dynamically inserted ads into programs streaming live on both desktop and mobile devices, and dubbing the new version Primetime Simulcast. If that sounds like a mildly jargon-y way of saying it’s a way to make watching video online more like watching TV, Adobe vice president of monetization Jeremy Helfand confirmed in a phone conversation last week that’s pretty much what it is — another step in Adobe’s efforts through Project Timeline to “create a TV-like environment,” one that doesn’t end up with a bunch of pre-roll ads crammed in before the actual video starts. “When you see content and ads working together on a device like the iPad,” Helfand explained, “it looks more like television. From an advertiser perspective, you have a much more engaged audience.”

Primetime Simulcast is designed to work with iOS, Android and desktop platforms and browsers, and a statement from Adobe says it’s the first solution for inserting ads exactly where they want them inserted in the content, and to support the content and ads across all those platforms. Helfand said it’s part of making sure publishers can monetize their content. “To get monetization where it needs to be, the pre-roll ad is not sustainable,” he said. “Imagine if you had all your ads upfront. People would just walk out of the room.” But, with the issues around a multiplicity of devices and platforms and apps, creating a unified solution has been a challenge. There are, he said, “lots of challenges in getting that content to devices. If you can get it to devices and can’t monetize it, what’s your business model?

“When you look at the online workflow, historically what you’d see is a lot of point solutions,” Helfand went on. “You’d have, like, 20 of these.” But with Primetime Simulcast promising to eliminate all those intermediary parties, “it really simplifies workflow,” he said. According to Adobe’s statement, the updates allow publishers to host video content, dynamically insert ads and measure the performance of an ad campaign.

Concurrently, Adobe released the newest version of its video server technology, Adobe Media Server 5 (formerly FlashMedia Server), with increased streaming protocol support for publishers and supporting the FCC’s closed captioning requirements; and it announced its digital rights management (DRM) product, Adobe Access 4, now supports native iOS apps (it previously supported desktop operating systems, Android apps and connected TVs). Adobe also integrated the Adobe AudienceManager, along with third-party data, into its ad management/monetization, Adobe Auditude, and enhanced tools designed help publishers both work more efficiently with their syndication partners and access more detailed reports on the performance of their video ads.

Adotas Senior Editor Brian LaRue has been working in journalism in some form or another for slightly longer than his entire adult life, having won his first SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) Award while he was still in high school. Prior to joining Adotas, he served as a reporter, editor, columnist, critic and blogger, mostly for a number of daily and weekly newspapers scattered around his native Connecticut. In his off hours, Brian maintains an active parallel life as a musician and music blogger.

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