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New Adobe Media Player Would Enable Offline Ad-Supported Video

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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

4 Responses to “New Adobe Media Player Would Enable Offline Ad-Supported Video”

  1. That's kind of silly to even think that anything would kill flash. Flash is probably the most heavily entrenched media platform out there. Maybe you are new to the web, but we've been using it for about 10 years for things *other* than for video. It was originally intended to be used to create animated .GIF files, then it turned out to be pretty sweet for website interface design and navigation. About 5 years later it started making a trek to being a video platform. If anything, I'd say that Ze Frank's How To Dance had more to do with the success of Flash as a video player platform than YouTube. Sure, YouTube helped propel it, but, man, there's a lot more to the history than you're seeming to know about. Also, have you ever played any of the flash-based games out there? Some of them are pretty fun. Maybe you've seen some, there's only about a bazillion of them.

    Your own second comment about an the possibility of an open, ad-free player over Flash would seem to kind of rely on… Flash. So how does this kill Flash? It seems to make Flash more relevant, not less.

  2. This won't kill flash. It'll just make it more appealing to the companies that already use it on their websites because now those companies can insert their own advertising and make money. It'll be up to them to craft that content+ad to make it acceptable to the viewers, but Adobe will still get their check.

  3. This will kill Flash. People will not respond well to downloading ads. Also, MS (SilverLight) and other platform players are likely to see this as an opportunity to gain groundshare on Flash video and Flash player. Remember, YouTube helped rise Flash to the top. They are imloding now. Someone else can just as quickly bring an open, ad-free environment/player over Flash. Adobe is overplaying it's hand.

    Flash sucks anyway (to use, licensing restrictions, etc.). Flash will die. Let's see who rises to the top.