Beet.tv did a fabulous job covering technology trends at NAB with interviews from a seemingly endless list of A-listers, from Akamai and Adobe, to Microsoft, Netflix, Viacom, Broadcom, you name it. One of the interviews was with Ashley Still, director of video product management at Adobe, where she talked about the DASH support Adobe added to Primetime 2.0 (old news we reported here) and the planned 4K support. In the video embedded below, Still confirms that it’s HEVC, not VP-9, that Adobe plans to support.
Briefly, Primetime is a premium multiple-platform video distribution platform Adobe launched in 2013; at NAB, Adobe announced Major League Baseball and WWE as their latest licensees. MLB, in particular, is a stunning endorsement, as they have proven very savvy with streaming media in the past. If MLB feels like Primetime is the most efficient way to distribute to the masses, it means a lot.
DASH and HEVC in Primetime is great news, of course, only if you can afford Primetime; none of this seems to be flowing out to the general-purpose Flash Player. By adding all the cool new stuff to Primetime, and only modestly upgrading in the Flash Player, Adobe is increasing the disparity between the two, and strengthening the case for Primetime. In effect, by standing still, Flash Player is growing weaker, not that it really matters; HTML5 is really the only competitor on the horizon and that’s nowhere close.
Over the past two years, Adobe has transitioned from Flash as the predominant general-purpose playback platform that made them little real cash, to Flash-based Primetime as one of the premiere distribution platforms available. It’s a brilliant move for Adobe; after all, why continue to invest in a platform that doesn’t contribute to the bottom line? If I was Brightcove, Ooyala and Kaltura, I’d be worried.
On the other hand, it leaves the little guys who can’t afford Primetime out in the cold. We still have to support multiple streaming formats to reach viewers on different platforms, and there still isn’t a general-purpose HEVC player on the horizon. Once again, it’s no fun being among the great unwashed.
Here’s Still’s interview; congrats again to Beet.tv, fabulous job.