Adobe launching video authentication solution 'Adobe Pass' to streamline TV Everywhere plays

Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) is launching a new authentication solution, Adobe Pass, helping to set the stage for content creators and owners to become more creative in the way they sell, promote and distribute video content.

The software lets pay-TV providers authenticate paying subscribers online and provide them with a broader TV Everywhere experience, and allows pay-TV subscribers to view content across multiple websites with just one sign in; it also doesn't require additional downloads, eliminating the complicated validation process that requires many registrations and downloads, which is seen as a major barrier to consumers' adoption of TV Everywhere.

Adobe Pass gives consumers access to premium content from virtually any Internet-connected device; it leverages the Flash Platform and HTML 5 to deliver content on more platforms--including Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Google TV. And, says Adobe, it helps ensure a high-quality, secure user experience combining the Flash Platform with Adobe Flash Access for enhanced security. It uses HTML 5 for devices where Adobe Flash technology is not available, on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and iPhone, for example.

The software also opens the door to content owners and producers looking to distribute their product without having to go through traditional pay-TV operators.

"This really illustrates how the major software technology vendors are getting serious about creating a true consumer grade experience for online video," Steve Vonder Haar, Research Director for Interactive Media Strategies told FierceOnlineVideo. "Once it's in place, it opens the doors for producers and content creators to look at the existing overall business models with fresh eyes."

Adobe Pass gives content owners more options for their content, including some likely à la carte plays.

"This new software isn't going to disinter mediate any pay-TV operators... it's just not going to happen," he said. "But for smaller content owners, it will help them get their content online, and it'll be a very good way for them to do that."

The software, which has been in development for about 18 months, helps Adobe establish itself better in the TV Everywhere ecosystem.

"This helps get us closer to pay-TV operators," Todd Greenbaum, Adobe's senior product manager told FierceOnlineVideo. "We've had relationships on the programming side in the past, but as (content owners) start moving toward serving up their own content, as IPTV convergence moves forward, it's important for us to be in the middle of TV Everywhere. Pass won't be a huge revenue booster for Adobe, but it will help strategically position the company overall."

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Dish (NASDAQ:DISH) and Turner already are using Pass. Greenbaum said Adobe expects to have the majority of the U.S. market covered this summer.

Jeremy Legg, Turner Broadcasting System's SVP of business development and multi-platform distribution, said Pass helps make TV Everywhere integration easier.

"With the explosion of new smartphones, tablets and Internet-connected TVs hitting the market over the past months, it is increasingly critical that we're able to push authenticated content to new devices quickly and easily," Legg said. "Adobe Pass makes MVPD integrations more simple, which enables us to get to market quickly and serve customers the content they want, where they want it."

Online video platform Brightcove said it, too, was licensing the Adobe Pass technology, and would use it to offer TV Everywhere authorization services to broadcasters, cable programming networks, and distributors to streamline their initiatives.

"TV Everywhere is a major step forward in the online digital transformation of the TV industry," said Eric Elia, vice president of TV Solutions at Brightcove. "Most of the top TV brands we work with are planning or executing TV Everywhere projects right now, so the Adobe Pass technology is coming to market at the right time with an innovative approach that solves real problems."

The Brightcove TV Everywhere authorization service with Adobe Pass is expected to become generally available in the second half of 2011. The company is already working with several cable programmers to accelerate TV Everywhere rollouts based on the new technology.

The software, said IMS's Vonder Haar, gives Adobe, albeit temporarily, a leg up on the competition.

"A complete overhaul or revision of the video marketplace is probably not the most realistic thing to expect," he said. "But Adobe has come out with a pretty nifty piece of software that helps us to look at the market in a new way. They won't be the only one out there with a solution, but it's robust platform that can manage content in a pretty concise way."

For more:
- see this Adobe release
- see this Brightcove release

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