New Adobe Media Player Would Enable Offline Ad-Supported Video

Adobe launches its bid for desktop video real estate in Las Vegas Monday at NAB: Adobe Media Player, a free standalone player designed to work online and offline with heavy reliance on RSS. (It’s also cross-platform — Windows and Macs.) For Adobe, it’s a chance to complete what company executives described during an interview as a Flash “triple play” — adding the desktop to 700+plus million browser players and 200+ enabled mobile devices (company stats).

I’ll leave it to others to get into the tech and developer aspects … what intrigues me most is the potential for portability. Currently, major media outlets tend to offer full-length episodes as ad-supported streams online or downloads for sale. What’s missing, for the most part, is a format that provides ad-supported portability beyond clips. Adobe Media Player aims squarely at that space with an offline ad model. Craig Barberich, group product manager, explained that the player includes content protection — one variation would be identity-based, locked down to the individual user/machine, another is more flexible, high-quality playback and dynamic skinning based on content. It also promises a variety of ways to offer advertising: banners; bugs/overlays (warning to advertisers: the bugs can get annoying fast); text based; pre-mid-post roll; etc. Media companies can create “pods” — quasi-widgets — using flash and html. Ads also can update at viewing.

Metrics: Adobe is promising serious metrics tools but also says users will have the right to opt out of certain tracking.

Competition: Adobe is counting on Flash to be the difference; AMP is the only desktop player that can play back Flash. As for internet start-ups, Barberich said, “they don


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