Adobe has announced that its Adobe Pass technology notched a 10x increase during the first half of 2012 in the number of video streams it authenticated. Big contributors included NCAA March Madness, UEFA Euro 2012 soccer and the NBA playoffs, along with entertainment content from Disney and Turner cable networks. Adobe Pass also powered authentication for the London Olympics, which drove 88 million authenticated streams.
Adobe Pass is now used by 40+ sites and mobile apps from 25 content providers, and is integrated by 150 pay-TV operators covering 98% of U.S. homes. That's considerable progress for a technology which was only announced a year-and-a-half ago.
Adobe has also released Adobe Pass 2.0, which includes a number of new features, the most noteworthy of which is "auto-authentication" (also known as "auto-verification"). With it, users who have both TV and Internet service from the same pay-TV/broadband ISP, do not have to login. Rather, their IP or MAC address is recognized, allowing them to quickly begin viewing content on their preferred devices. I reported auto-verification as a huge breakthrough for TV Everywhere and during the Olympics both Comcast and Cablevision used it for the first time. Adobe said authentication success increased by 23% for these providers compared to those who didn't use it.
Also new in Adobe Pass 2.0 is a "free preview" feature that allows temporary access to content for a preset time period. In the fall, a server side API will be introduced so content providers can include authentication in their native apps to more quickly deliver to additional devices.
There are still numerous business issues the pay-TV industry is working through to make TV Everywhere more widespread; as the supporting technologies like Adobe Pass continue to mature, momentum will no doubt increase.