Today, Adobe launched version 1.0 of its new desktop Internet TV application.
The Adobe Media Player (AMP), built using the company’s Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) — a cross-platform technology designed to bring web-based applications to the desktop — is an aggregator and media player that enables users to subscribe to, download and playback Flash-based video. Included in the application is a directory of content provided by Adobe’s partners, including CBS, MTV Networks, Universal Music Group, PBS, CondéNet, and Scripps Networks or, alternatively, users can add content from any Flash/MPEG4 video source that provides an RSS feed. In this respect, AMP can be compared to the video podcast functionality of Apple’s iTunes or the open source Miro. However, neither iTunes or Miro (or even VeohTV, which features similar functionality) offer a way for providers to monetize their content through advertising. This is where the Adobe Media Player is attempting to fill a void.
Describing the application from a user’s point of view, John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions at Adobe, said in a written statement: “It’s a merger of TV Guide and DVR for Internet video content. Some great shows, like The Hills from MTV and CSI from CBS, is already available to view and more will be coming soon.”
And on behalf of Adobe’s content partners, Melissa Webster, vice president, IDC Content and Digital Media Technologies, is quoted in the press release: “Audiences want a great playback experience, including streamed or downloaded high-quality video. At the same time, content owners need to protect and monetize their content via premium services or advertising. This is the opportunity that Adobe is addressing with Adobe Media Player.”
Specifically, the Adobe Media Player provides partners with “next generation offline monetisation and branding options” which “can provide content publishers with anonymous measurement of content usage data”. This will enable viewing data to be captured, even during offline playback, so that adverts can be targeted more accurately and efficiently (with Adobe taking a cut of course). Additionally, content (both streaming and downloads) can be locked down using Adobe’s Flash Video copy-protection technology.
Moving forward, Adobe plans to add download to own or rent options later this year, reports NewTeeVee, as well user-generated content. The former would mean further invading iTunes (and SyncTV) territory, while the latter begins to step on YouTube’s toes (a major Adobe Flash Video licensee).