Adobe is taking the wraps off a new content protection solution today dubbed Flash Access 2.0, as well as introducing new HTTP dynamic streaming. In addition, Adobe and KickApps are partnering to introduce OSMF App Studio, which allows drag-and-drop Flash media experiences (OSMF is Adobe's Open Source Media Framework, a collection of components to improve video playback experiences).
As Ashley Still, Adobe's Group Product Manager for Flash Media Distribution explained to me last week, Flash Access 2.0 enables flexible business models for premium content. The move underscores the desire by content providers to move beyond purely ad-supported online video delivery to hybrid or solely paid approaches. Flash Access 2.0 succeeds Flash Media Rights Management Server. It also supports output protection, so that video viewed on multiple screens is also protected. Ashley noted that Flash Access 2.0 has been approved by the DECE, Hollywood's main security consortium.
With HTTP dynamic streaming, Adobe is stepping outside of Flash Media Server-only delivery to capitalize on CDNs' large existing networks of HTTP servers. It includes live and on-demand delivery including adaptive bit rate and network DVR playback. I asked what this means for FMS revenues, and Ashley maintained that the move may change the revenue mix from CDNs, but that any slack will likely be picked up by Flash Access 2.0; in addition, Adobe doesn't see things changing much for enterprises using FMS.
Last but not least, as KickApps' CEO Alex Blum told me last week, its new partnership with Adobe means that non-technical staff will now be able to create Flash media experiences without writing any code. The OSMF App Studio is a co-branded interface that give users the ability to drag and drop pre-integrated 3rd party functionality like analytics, ad networks, delivery while also customizing the look and feel of their players. I saw the full App Studio demo recently at NATPE and it was impressive. Adobe's decision to standardize exclusively on KickApps App Studio gives the company broad new distribution though Adobe.com and a solid partnership win. According to Alex, it is also the first productization of OSMF.
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