Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators

Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators
Make Every Screen a TV
Adobe Primetime helps operators reach viewers on any IP-connected screen, simplifying
IP-based distribution to any screen and creating more value for pay-TV service. With
a unified, highly secure workflow for live, linear and video-on-demand (VOD)
programming, Adobe Primetime delivers an engaging, personalized viewing experience
on every device and desktop.
DRM
player SDK
pay-TV pass
G E M E
G A
N
T
A
T
T
D A
QoE monitoring
video analytics
N
I Z
A T I O N
E
M O
N
E
ad insertion
ad decisioning
Figure 1: Adobe Primetime – A Complete Solution
Adobe Primetime capabilities are modular and interoperable with third-party publishing,
monetization and optimization technologies. By building on top of the Primetime player
SDKs, operators can continue to leverage existing broadcast, cable and satellite
workflows and infrastructure, and deploy additional Adobe Primetime components as
their business needs evolve.
Adobe Primetime meets strict studio DRM requirements and helps enforce TV
Everywhere agreements, ensuring that consumers have ongoing access to premium
content. Seamless ad insertion delivers a viewing experience that keeps audiences
engaged, while delivering the most profitable ad decisions for any given campaign. Data
drawn from quality-of-experience (QoE) monitoring, ad performance and entitlement,
and more, comes together in a set of real-time dashboards to inform the delivery of
personalized experiences to subscribers.
Intended Audience
This document provides a detailed technical overview of Adobe Primetime, intended for
technical personnel within multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs),
Multiple System Operators (MSOs), pay-TV operators, satellite providers and
telecommunications companies (telcos). For the sake of simplicity, these companies are
called “operators” throughout this document.
Many terms are used in the context of online video. See the Glossary for definitions of
these terms and any acronyms that appear in this document.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 2
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators
Make Every Screen a TV
Contents
Adobe Primetime Solution Overview5
Design Philosophy5
System Capabilities5
Adobe Primetime Player SDK6
Packaging SDKs7
Adobe Primetime DRM7
Adobe Primetime Pay-TV Pass7
Adobe Primetime Ad Decisioning8
Adobe Primetime Ad Insertion8
Adobe Primetime Video Analytics8
Adobe Primetime Quality-of-Experience Monitoring
9
Implementation Options10
Adobe Video Stack11
Developing with the Adobe Primetime Player SDK
13
Overview13
Top-Quality Video Playback13
Hardware Acceleration13
Powerful Multiple Bitrate Logic14
Consistency Across Platforms and Devices
14
Complete Documentation14
Extensible for Added Services15
Design Philosophy15
Capability Highlights16
Meeting the Challenges of Different Platforms
16
The Desktop17
Mobile Devices (Android)18
Mobile Devices (iOS)19
The Digital Home20
Analytics-Ready Players21
Working with the Reference Design Kit
21
Publishing with Engagement in Mind22
Overview22
Design Philosophy23
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 3
Capability Highlights
24
Deployment Flexibility24
World’s Largest Installed Base for DRM
24
Robust and Long-Lived Content Protection
24
Broadcast-Ready Functionality24
A Single Publishing Workflow24
Industry-Standard Solutions24
Packaging SDKs & Specifications25
Adobe Primetime DRM25
Adobe Primetime DRM for HLS27
Adobe Primetime Protected Streaming27
Adobe Primetime Pay-TV Pass28
Monetizing Video Content with Advertising
30
Overview30
Design Philosophy31
Capability Highlights31
Ad Platform Implementation Options32
Ad Decisioning33
Campaign Management34
Ad Experience Management37
Automated Creative Preparation Service39
Forecasting39
Content Library40
Redirect Support40
Sales Rights41
Ad Insertion42
Inventory Management43
Ad Routing44
Ad Stitching44
Ad Tracking & Reporting44
Optimizing Video Strategy with QoE Monitoring and Video Analytics
45
Overview45
Design Philosophy46
Capability Highlights46
Adobe Video Analytics47
Adobe Primetime QoE Monitoring48
QoE Overview Dashboard
48
Startup & Error Reporting Dashboard49
Buffers & Bitrates Dashboard49
Geography Dashboard50
Content Type & Device Breakdown Dashboard
50
Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 51
4
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO
CONTENT WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO
STRATEGY WITH QOE
MONITORING AND VIDEO
ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Adobe Primetime Solution Overview
This chapter provides an overview of Adobe Primetime, including the design philosophy,
system highlights, implementation options, the Adobe video stack, and the possible
integration points within an operator’s existing systems.
Design Philosophy
Adobe Primetime was created to solve a major problem for operators: the lack of a
platform with a unified workflow for preparing, publishing, monetizing, and analyzing
IP-delivered video.
In the past, operators were forced to build their own online video systems by assembling
apps and services from many different vendors. This consumed time and money, caused
glitches, necessitated workarounds, and ultimately undermined the consumer experience.
These problems were amplified by the fragmented market for online video, with different
operating systems, browsers, and mobile devices, many of these with different chipsets,
firmware, device drivers, and screen size.
All these moving parts were updated at unpredictable intervals, so that any developer
seeking to provide consistent video playback had to closely monitor the latest versions
of each operating system, browser, and device—and then develop appropriate
workarounds for any gaps or inconsistencies. In some cases, there were not yet any
established industry standards, and certain systems could not exchange data smoothly,
causing further headaches. All this distracted developers from creating a unique and
robust consumer experience, and reduced overall ROI for operators.
Adobe Primetime was designed to solve these problems and help operators profit from
video delivered to any IP-connected screen. System Capabilities
Adobe Primetime provides a rich set of core capabilities. Table 1 shows the essential
functions of each capability; additional highlights are given in the descriptions that follow.
The rest of the chapters of this primer provide a more detailed description of each
module, in the same order as listed in Table 1.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 5
Table 1: Adobe Primetime Capabilities
Player SDK
Helps developers build players that provide consistent,
top-quality video playback on any IP-connected device
with seamless integration across Adobe Primetime DRM,
monetization, and analytics capabilities
Packaging SDKs
Help developers prepare, encrypt, and deliver content that
adheres to industry standards
DRM
Provides scalable, efficient workflow to protect premium
video across devices and through various business models
Pay-TV Pass
Verifies pay-TV subscribers within programmer-provided
sites and apps so they can access approved content on
IP-connected devices beyond set-top boxes
Ad Decisioning
Supports every aspect of campaign and inventory
management with efficient workflow
Ad Insertion
Enables monetization of TV programming across devices by
seamlessly inserting ads into video content
Video Analytics
Extends Adobe Analytics with 10-second data collection and
video-specific features to measure, analyze, and optimize
online video and ad content
Quality-of-Experience
Monitoring
Displays real-time data on Quality-of-Experience (QoE),
engagement, and ad metrics
Adobe Primetime Player SDK
The Adobe Primetime player SDK includes all of the necessary tools and documentation
to build and deliver a premium video experience on any IP-connected screen. Players
built with the Adobe Primetime player SDK have access to all the key features considered
necessary for premium video delivery at massive scale: content preparation, DRM, ad
insertion, variable bitrate selection, hooks to collect engagement and quality-ofexperience (QoE) data, and more.
This SDK covers the desktop (Microsoft Windows® and Mac OS X®), mobile devices
(Android™ and iOS), digital home devices (Roku® and Xbox®) and numerous other smart
TVs and set-top boxes; in other words, virtually every connected device that consumers
use to access online video today.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 6
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Developers can use this SDK to dramatically shorten ramp time to address new platforms,
meet new regulatory requirements, and minimize the complexity due to the different
configurations that each platform presents. This provides maximum audience reach for
minimum development effort.
Players built with the SDK integrate automatically with Adobe Primetime Quality-ofExperience (QoE) monitoring, enabling a near real-time view into any playback errors that
may impact audience engagement.
Packaging SDKs
Adobe supports a consistent publishing workflow built around HLS that makes it faster
and easier to publish video content for all IP-connected devices. The system includes a
comprehensive set of software libraries and streaming protocols that enable other
members of the video publishing ecosystem (such as CDNs and encoders) to support
industry-standard protocols for preparing, encrypting, and delivering video content.
This ensures compatibility with key capabilities such as Adobe Primetime DRM, Adobe
Primetime ad insertion, and player features such as closed captioning, trick play for
fast-forward and rewind, and other enhancements to the consumer experience. The
Adobe Primetime packaging SDKs are used by companies such as Cisco and RGB
Networks to prepare, encrypt, and deliver content compatible with Adobe Primetime.
Adobe Primetime DRM
The DRM capability of Adobe Primetime—formerly known as Adobe Access—provides
the most scalable, efficient workflow to help operators deliver and protect premium
video across desktops and mobile devices. Every major Hollywood studio has approved
apps and services that use Adobe’s DECE-approved DRM. Adobe Primetime DRM and
protected streaming technologies enable operators to extend their audience reach and
support a broad set of business models, including rentals, subscriptions, and downloads,
both directly and through syndication or distribution partners.
Adobe Primetime Pay-TV Pass
The Emmy award-winning pay-TV pass capability of Adobe Primetime—formerly
known as Adobe Pass—is a universal, user-friendly system for unlocking pay-TV content
on any device. A pioneer in the concept of “TV Everywhere,” Adobe now powers more
than 120 TV Everywhere sites and apps, and integrates with more than 230 U.S.
operators, representing 99% of all U.S. pay-TV households. The innovation continues
with consumer-driven features such as auto-authentication, where subscribers to both
an operator’s broadband and pay-TV offering are authenticated automatically. The
service also provides real-time monitoring capabilities to detect issues and multiple
fail-over protocols to protect operators from outages that could prevent subscribers
from accessing content during peak viewership, critical for the success of major live
events with huge concurrent audiences.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 7
For operators, Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass helps strengthen relationships with
subscribers by providing a secure, multi-screen viewing experience. Adobe Primetime
pay-TV pass requires no downloads or plug-ins and delivers a hassle-free viewing
experience for consumers. The programmers leveraging Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass
today include ABC, Disney, ESPN, Fox, NBCU, NFL, Starz, Turner, Viacom, and more.
Adobe Primetime Ad Decisioning
Adobe Primetime ad decisioning provides campaign management, creative trafficking,
forecasting, inventory management, partner management, reporting, and TV Everywhere
support to improve operational efficiency and visibility.
Built from the ground up for live, linear (simulcast), and on-demand video content in TV
Everywhere environments, Adobe Primetime ad decisioning is an optional capability of
Adobe Primetime. For companies that use third-party ad servers, Adobe can develop
custom integrations that extend the lives of legacy infrastructure, or redirect using
industry-standard protocols such as VPAID, VMAP and VAST.
In addition to a unified, cross-platform solution, operators need a partner they can trust.
Adobe Primetime is certified under SAS 70, accredited by the MRC, and compliant with all
relevant IAB standards. The system offers 24/7 QoS monitoring, infrastructure scaled for
trillions—not just billions—of transactions, and real-time fraud detection. Support and
engineering teams are staffed around the world 24/7/365.
Adobe Primetime Ad Insertion
The ad insertion capability of Adobe Primetime enables operators to monetize TV
programming across digital devices by seamlessly inserting advertisements into live,
linear, or VOD content. This allows for dynamic ad execution into any content type on
any IP-connected device, creating an engaging, buffer-free ad and content experience
for viewers. Flexible, scalable, simple monetization capabilities can be delivered in
either client- or server-side implementations, with turnkey integrations across
third-party ad servers.
While the seamless consumer experience gets the most attention, the logic that drives
Adobe Primetime ad insertion also includes sophisticated inventory management, ad
routing, and IAB-compliant impression tracking and reporting capabilities.
By combining Adobe Primetime ad decisioning and Adobe Primetime ad insertion,
operators can manage ad campaigns against opportunities, while preserving their existing
business models through shared sales rights. This reduces friction across the video and
advertising workflow. Tight integration with the player SDK, analytics, and third-party
video content management systems (VCMS) enables Adobe Primetime to gather and
report all the information that operators need to effectively monetize every stream.
Adobe Primetime Video Analytics
Adobe Primetime is fully integrated with Adobe Analytics video essentials, including the
new 10-second “heartbeat” video playback reporting, which provides high-accuracy
analysis of engagement.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 8
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Adobe Analytics includes video-specific features that provide operators with one place to
measure, analyze, and optimize based on data integrated from all online video across
multiple distribution channels. This data measures video-specific audience engagement
metrics (e.g., audience average, audience minute, time spent) as well as ad performance
metrics (e.g., ad impressions, pod placement, drop-off).
And because the core set of video metrics and dimensions is collected in a standard
way, video data behaves just like other site data within Adobe Analytics, and can be
added to non-video reports. This helps operators understand how digital strategy is
performing across all content types.
Adobe is continuing to deliver against our vision of providing an integrated data
platform that drives higher-quality experiences, longer and deeper viewer engagement,
and better monetization.
Adobe Primetime Quality-of-Experience Monitoring
New quality-of-experience (QoE) monitoring in Adobe Primetime enables operators to
collect real-time analytics for quality of service (e.g., bitrate, buffers, errors), engagement
(e.g., concurrent audience, time spent), and ads (e.g., impressions, pod placement, ad ID).
Data is available within 10 seconds of playback and updated every 10 seconds, so that
customers can troubleshoot any problems as they arise.
New real-time dashboards in Adobe Primetime provide audience engagement
information across content and ads, giving insight into who’s watching and what’s
happening right now, which is especially valuable for live content.
The same real-time data used by the operations team is automatically available
in Adobe Analytics for deeper historical analysis, creating an integrated data platform
for real-time and historical data and eliminating the traditional silos between operations
and marketing/analyst teams.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 9
Implementation Options
Adobe Primetime capabilities are modular and interoperable with third-party publishing,
monetization, and optimization technologies. By building on top of the Adobe Primetime
player SDK, operators can continue to leverage their existing broadcast, cable, and
satellite workflows and infrastructure, while deploying additional Adobe Primetime
components as their business needs evolve.
3rd Party Hosted
Adobe Hosted
Player SDK
Any CMS
CDN
MVPDs (300+)
Pay-TV Pass
Player logic
requests content
Delivery to
end users
Authentication
with Adobe
Authentication
On Premise
Adobe Primetime
Packager
Video Encoder
(transcoding)
HDS/HLS protected
with CC+ ad cues
Receives the
source video
DRM
Analytics
Ad Insertion
QoE + Views
Targeted Ads
Great Viewing
Experience
Figure 2: Typical Implementation Scenario
As shown in Figure 2, the typical operator has a mixed infrastructure, with some hosted
by Adobe, some by third-party providers, and some as on-premise deployments.
Whatever the operator’s specific configuration, the Adobe Primetime player SDKs help
bring it all together and provide a great viewing experience for the consumer.
Adobe Primetime maintains some traditionally on-premise elements of this
architecture in the cloud. This enables operators to rapidly build out a proof of
concept for a given class of assets or events. For example, standing up a packager and
operating an origin server can be time-consuming and complex. Once the proof of
concept has run successfully, the operator can deploy the hardware and servers in their
data centers with confidence.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators
10
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
All the capabilities of Adobe Primetime are already integrated for quick, turnkey
implementations. Using these capabilities together provides many benefits:
• Pay-TV pass monitoring data can be used to provide additional insights into subscribers viewing patterns happening across programmer sites and apps. This usage data can be brought into Adobe Analytics to compare with data from operator-owned sites and apps for more comprehensive insights into subscriber behavior.
• Data from Adobe Primetime ad decisioning can be brought into Adobe Analytics to combine data on website and app events with data on
advertising CPMs and revenue.
• Video analytics data can be combined with Adobe Analytics to correlate
content engagement metrics with website and app behavior metrics.
• Data from all services can be combined with other first-party data to create and manage audience segmentation.
Adobe Primetime capabilities are straightforward to integrate with existing third-party or
homegrown solutions, by using standards such as VAST or VMAP, or where industry
standards do not yet exist, through Adobe Primetime’s published methods.
Adobe Video Stack
Adobe Primetime provides the integrated video stack shown in Figure 3. This complete
technology stack simplifies publishing video content to multiple screens at massive scale,
so that operators can reach more devices, quickly and securely, and measure their
audience and the results of their ad campaigns.
Figure 3: The Adobe Video Stack
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 11
A key feature of Adobe Primetime is that it provides the only video engine available
with full content protection on HLS streams in Flash on the desktop. Adobe’s HLS
implementation provides several capabilities beyond what is available through most
native video stacks. These capabilities include:
• Enhanced frame-accurate seeking and trick play support
• Customizable failover and error handling
• Client-side content splicing framework
• Intelligent fallback to a different video rendition if a certain content profile
cannot be decoded
As shown in Figure 3, a developer creates a video player application to access the highperformance video playback engine and DECE-approved DRM through the Adobe
Primetime player SDK. This provides consistent, top-quality video playback across
Windows and OS X desktops, Android and iOS mobile devices, Roku and Xbox digital
home systems, and a variety of smart TVs and set-top boxes. Adobe can add new
features that become available across all these platforms.
By providing an Adobe Primetime DRM-ready HLS client on every major platform and
device, the developer no longer needs to manage different media formats and DRM
systems. On Apple iOS devices, Adobe integrates with the native HLS stack to provide
this capability. For most other platforms, Adobe provides an advanced DRM-capable
video engine that supports HLS. This makes it possible for the first time to build one
publishing workflow that delivers fully protected content to a wide range of platforms
and devices with consistent, HD-quality playback.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 12
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Developing with the Adobe Primetime Player SDK
This chapter describes the Adobe Primetime player SDK, including an overview, design
philosophy, product highlights, platform-specific differences, and the Adobe Primetime
framework for content splicing and ad insertion. The first section provides an overview,
and the following sections address how the Adobe Primetime player SDK achieves
consistent video playback and monetization across different platforms.
Overview
Based on Adobe’s 10+ years of online video experience, Adobe Primetime is built on
top of an industry-leading video engine optimized for high-quality playback on every
major platform. Developers use the Adobe Primetime player SDK to leverage this
engine in their applications. This means developers can forget about tracking platforms,
browser versions, and the latest mobile devices, and instead focus on creating an
excellent user experience for subscribers. The proven video-player technology from
Adobe Primetime is designed to be future-proof: Ready for today’s needs, and adaptable
for tomorrow’s innovations.
Top-Quality Video Playback
The Adobe Primetime player SDK solves the core problem of platform fragmentation,
going deep into each individual operating system (OS) to provide a consistent, high-quality
video experience for viewers. Adobe Primetime uses the same video stack on all platforms
except iOS, where the video features are built on top of Apple’s native video stack.
Hardware Acceleration
The Adobe Primetime player SDK takes full advantage of hardware acceleration on all
platforms. Shifting processing from software to hardware lengthens battery life, improves
performance, and mitigates issues such as dropped frames. For example, some startups
offering HLS video stacks on Android use software decoding in the absence of developing
direct relationships with chip manufacturers, which can be complex and difficult to
navigate. Implementing full hardware decoding requires driver-level integration on each
hardware platform. Adobe’s position in the digital video industry enables us to engage
directly with chipset vendors to enable hardware acceleration on a broad set of devices.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 13
Powerful Multiple Bitrate Logic
Multiple bitrate (MBR) streaming works by detecting the consumer’s bandwidth and
CPU capacity in real-time and adjusting the quality of the video stream accordingly,
picking the fastest possible bitstream that the consumer’s device can accommodate.
Adobe’s MBR switching logic provides the best experience for any given bandwidth.
This logic also provides applications with advanced controls for bandwidth capping, and
to control how aggressive or conservative the switching logic will be. Adobe Primetime
provides a standard set of configurations that work under most conditions, while at the
same time giving the developer access to certain parameters to tweak for specific needs.
Adobe Primetime’s MBR logic is based on four years of tuning under real-world conditions
at massive scale. Millions of streams are viewed every month using this technology.
Consistency Across Platforms and Devices
The Adobe Primetime player SDK provides a consistent API on all platforms and easy
deployment to support new platforms with the same workflow. The SDK supports ad
insertion, Adobe Primetime DRM, industry-standard closed-captioning, consistent error
handling, and QoE metrics on playback. Specific versions of the Adobe Primetime player
SDK are available for the desktop (Windows and OS X with any browser that supports
Adobe Flash Player), Android, iOS, Roku, and Xbox.
Complete Documentation
As shown in Figure 4, the Adobe Primetime player SDK includes a complete set of
documentation and samples that help a developer to get up and running quickly on
each platform. A full set of reference clients can be used as a starting point to save time
building a custom player. Test clients and diagnostic tooling make it easier to
troubleshoot any issues.
How Our Customers Use Adobe Primetime Players
Customer Application
Customers leverage SDK to build apps in native
language for each device, focusing on UX, custom
business rules, discovery, and social.
Reference Implementation
Fully functioning sample app shows how to
interface with Adobe Primetime player SDKs
for each platform. Covers all standard use cases
and demos how to integrate pay-TV pass, video
analytics, and real time dashboards.
Adobe Primetime Player SDK
Toolset for handling core use cases and playback.
Renders video, splices in ads, displays captions,
plays audio, and enforces studio-approved DRM
to protect content.
Customer Application
Reference Implementation
Pay-TV Pass
Video Analytics
Adobe Primetime Player SDK
DRM
Video
Ad Insertion
Captions
QoS
Audio
Figure 4: How Our Customers Use the Adobe Primetime Player SDK
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 14
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Extensible for Added Services
The Adobe Primetime Player SDK provides a rich set of events and properties to help
developers build additional services into their applications and platforms, including
skinning and embedding. These enable an operator to embed a custom player on a
webpage, reskinned to display certain user interface elements, to harmonize with a
certain online environment, or to support overlay or companion ads.
Design Philosophy
The Adobe Primetime player SDK is designed to make it faster and easier to deploy
complex media applications across a broad set of client platforms, with top-quality
results. The Adobe Primetime player SDK achieves this by providing a consistent set of
APIs and capabilities across all platforms, abstracting complicated platform-specific
media APIs so the developer can focus on the consumer experience.
This also means the developer’s knowledge and experience building an application on
one platform can easily be transferred to other platforms.
The Adobe Primetime player SDK includes a rich set of notifications that can be triggered
for every important event in the playback experience. For example, a developer can
easily track the player moving from initialization to buffering to playback. Events are fired
when ad pods (commercial breaks) are first entered, so that the player user interface can
be updated as appropriate. Pausing, seeking, fast forward, and fast rewind are all signaled
by events. The SDK provides APIs that describe the stream timeline in detail, including the
active DVR window and ad pod positions, so that the developer can readily build a rich
user interface on top of the SDK.
These notifications provide key inputs that the data collection engine in Adobe Primetime
uses to gather, collate, and report for video analytics.
Of course, network problems and device failures can lead to errors. The Adobe Primetime
player SDK provides detailed error reporting that enables the application to respond to
any error conditions by starting a failover workflow or displaying a message to the viewer.
For example, the SDK will report whether a playback failure was caused by a network
problem, a corrupt media manifest, or a corrupt media file. In any case, the application
can determine the appropriate message to show to the consumer – customizable by the
operator – with an appropriate suggestion or workaround.
Adobe Primetime also provides for additional player services, including skinning
and embedding.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 15
Capability Highlights
The Adobe Primetime player SDK provides the following features to enhance engagement:
• Built-in support for DECE-approved content protection and business-policy
enforcement using Adobe Primetime DRM
• Massively scalable content protection through Adobe’s protected streaming
• Selectable output control and key rotation for linear, live, and VOD content
• Highest-quality multiple bitrate (MBR) video playback
• Trick play for familiar fast-forward and rewind functions
• CVAA-compliant closed captioning with support for CEA-608/708 and
WebVTT caption formats
• Late-binding audio support, using multiple audio tracks against a single asset for multiple languages
• Robust failover and retry logic that safeguards viewers from interruptions
• Bitrate capping specifies the initial, minimum, and maximum bitrates for any session, which enables operators to save bandwidth, lock a session to the highest profile, or exclude certain bitrates from certain devices
The Adobe Primetime player SDK provides the following features that
support monetization:
• Flexible capabilities for monetizing content with Adobe Primetime ad decisioning
or third-party ad servers
• Seamless ad insertion across all devices, using either client- or server-side methods
The Adobe Primetime player SDK provides the following features for data collection
and analysis:
• Integration with Adobe video analytics for advanced error and QoE
data collection
• Real-time dashboards in Adobe Primetime provide audience engagement
information across content and ads, giving operators insights into who’s
watching and what’s happening now
Meeting the Challenges of Different Platforms
This section describes different platform-specific details of the Adobe Primetime player
SDK covering the desktop (Windows and OS X), mobile devices (Android and iOS),
and digital home devices (Roku and Xbox).
Developers can use this SDK to dramatically shorten ramp time to address new platforms
and minimize operational complexity due to the different configurations that each platform
presents. This provides maximum audience reach at the most scalable development effort.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 16
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
The Desktop
Although premium video viewing on mobile devices is growing, the vast majority of
online video viewing still occurs on the desktop. Adobe has more than a decade of
experience enabling the best consumer video experiences for both Microsoft Windows
and Apple OS X with any browser that supports Flash Player.
Adobe’s ongoing commitment to the desktop is shown in the Adobe Primetime-only
component of Adobe Flash Player, which is unlocked by the Adobe Primetime player SDK
for the desktop, delivering HLS playback in Flash Player. (Please see http://blogs.adobe.
com/primetime/2013/12/adobe-primetime-1-2-adds-native-hls-support-to-flash-player/)
Adobe Primetime provides secure HLS playback in Flash Player, including:
• Support for HLS 4 and 5 streams
• Encrypted HLS, PHLS, and Adobe Primetime DRM, depending on the level of
protection required
• Alternate renditions
Built-in failover protection covers all the critical failures that can affect video playback:
• Server failover
• Client network failover
• Corrupted or missing segments
• Hardware decoder failover
The Adobe video stack also supports all these capabilities:
• Native 608/708 and WebVTT CC support with CVAA-compliant settings, so
that consumers can modify the size, opacity, color, and edges of caption text
and background
• Seamless client-side ad stitching
• Real-time analytics integration
• Player support for streaming protocols (e.g., Airplay, DLNA, Miracast) for streaming
content to supported devices
The Adobe Primetime player SDK for the desktop abstracts the hardware video decoding
and rendering pipeline across all Windows and OS X versions and browser combinations,
using Direct3D, DirectX, DXVA, and OpenGL as appropriate, and leveraging any
acceleration provided by each browser. This means without creating any browser-specific
implementations, the developer can still count on video to play back consistently with all
features across any browser that supports Flash Player.
The Adobe Primetime player SDK for desktop supports new platform features as they
become available, while maintaining support for older versions.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 17
For example, here are some specific browser capabilities that the Adobe Primetime
player SDK for the desktop supports:
• Internet Explorer 9 and later, and Firefox version 10 and later, provide
in-browser graphics composition acceleration that earlier browsers did not.
Chrome version 21 and later support OpenGL-based hardware acceleration.
• Some browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer support byte-range HTTP
requests, while others like Safari and Firefox don’t. Where this is available, the Adobe Primetime player SDK implements a native networking layer, but falls back to alternate built-in implementations where it is missing. This means the same streams work across all browsers and platforms.
Features available only in Adobe Primetime include:
• Buffering and multiple bitrate enhancements
• Fast/slow playback
• Hardware DRM support [Please see
http://blogs.adobe.com/primetime/2013/09/adobe-primetime-cloud-drmservice-and-amd-hardware-drm-support/]
• Microsoft Protected Media Path support to provide kernel-level security
• Second-screen protocols
Mobile Devices (Android)
This section describes how Adobe Primetime supports the Android and iOS platforms
with consistent, top-quality video players.
The Android platform presents some fundamental challenges to developers. Different
devices use different chipsets, each with different specifications for video profiles, drivers,
and CPU capabilities. The installed base is fragmented between different versions of
Android, with no one version greater than 50% of the total installed base.
Each version of Android has major issues with video playback, including crashes, aspect
ratio problems, seeking issues, errors on going to full-screen, and more. As long as the
installed base remains fragmented, and different OEM vendors provide different
customizations, consistent video playback on Android will continue to be challenging.
Fortunately, Adobe Primetime addresses these problems and provides a single, consistent
implementation for problem-free video playback on Android devices.
Adobe works closely with the Android media team to ensure that the Adobe Primetime
player SDK for Android provides a consistent viewing experience across multiple
versions of Android using the most efficient media framework for each version. These
range from the StageFright media framework for Android 2.3.x to the OpenMAX AL
framework for Android 4.x.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 18
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
The Adobe Primetime player SDK for Android addresses the significant device, chipset,
and firmware fragmentation of the Android installed base with a robust, patent-pending
hardware failure-protection layer. This layer detects which stream configurations will
experience bugs or will not work on a particular chipset or device, and optimizes the
streams for that device.
This failure-protection mechanism for Android uses heuristic data about chipset, device,
firmware versions and failure rates, and data collected by Adobe over several years of
major video deployments on the Android and desktop platforms.
The Adobe Primetime player SDK for Android supports video streams without fixed
segment duration, sequence number matching, or key-frame alignment across various
bitrate variants. This addresses the issue of packagers and segmenters that do not
conform to the Adobe Primetime requirements for accurate ad-insertion of skip-free
MBR switching.
Adobe Primetime’s MBR algorithm uses several parameters to decide which streams to
switch to, including bandwidth. This algorithm uses data on the consumer’s device
capabilities to decide which streams to play back with high frame rates, and which
streams to avoid because the device can’t handle them.
To improve the consumer experience, this decision happens before stream switching, not
after. The MBR algorithm uses alternate server information that’s normally available for
network or server failover; it can also use that information to find a segment if files are
missing due to packaging or deployment issues.
Highlights of the Primetime player SDK for Android include:
• A dual buffering mechanism that enables quick start of videos,
without delays to fill the entire buffer
• Full control of content in the app on the end-user’s device, as any
section of the M3U8 playlist can be replaced with alternate content
without updating the server’s M3U8 file
• Time-accurate ad insertion on the client side, including ads inserted
at non-segment boundaries, which is especially difficult for live events
• Frame-accurate seek, not restricted to keyframes alone
• Falling back to the correct MBR profile depending on the chipset
capabilities for trick play
• Support for CEA-608, CEA-708, and WebVTT closed captions, with
end-user overrides
Mobile Devices (iOS)
Apple iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad present another unique set of challenges.
Native iOS applications must use the native HLS video stack from Apple, which provides a
single HLS video decoder. This makes ad insertion and DRM difficult. Although video is
rarely viewed over cellular connections, Apple strictly enforces the video guidelines for
cellular and will block an app’s approval on this basis.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 19
The Adobe Primetime player SDK for iOS provides unique technology for client-side
content and ad splicing that uses the native HLS video stack from Apple and complies
fully with Apple’s App Store guidelines. The SDK uses Apple-approved hooks in the native
video player to manage ad insertion and DRM. All Adobe Primetime features are built on
top of the iOS AVPlayer, which makes it easier to migrate applications built on AVPlayer to
the Adobe Primetime player SDK. For optimum productivity for developers, the API calls
are consistent across all platforms, including iOS.
The Digital Home
Two popular devices in the digital home are the Roku set-top boxes and the Xbox
videogame console.
Roku set-top boxes provide consumers free and premium video content in both live and
VOD formats and these devices are now supported by the Adobe Primetime player SDK.
For example, live streaming is achieved through HLS. And since the Roku SDK is based
on the same Adobe video stack, it provides all the same functions of Adobe Primetime
including ad insertion, DRM, closed captioning, and analytics.
The native video stack for the Xbox 360® and Xbox One® supports only Microsoft’s Smooth
Streaming and Playready DRM for video playback. The Xbox 360 does not provide any
native HLS implementation. Microsoft has published a sample HLS implementation, but
it does not provide any content protection and remains largely unsupported. Several 3D
software vendors provide an HLS implementation for the Xbox 360, but none of these
support a complete DRM solution. Adobe’s solution provides most of the features
available in the other versions of the Adobe Primetime player SDK.
The Adobe Primetime player SDK for Xbox 360 was developed in C# and fully
supports Adobe’s HLS video stack, including the following features:
• High-quality video playback up to and including 1080p for live/linear and
video on demand
• Trick play support
• Adobe Primetime server-side ad stitching
• VAST/VMAP redirects to third-party ad decisioning
• Client-side ad reporting
• 608 Closed Captioning (with master controls in Xbox to determine
caption color and font)
• HLS AES segment encryption
• Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass integration in application layer
• Enhanced analytics with integration of QoS and real-time dashboards
and video analytics
The Adobe Primetime player SDK for Xbox One is currently in limited alpha release.
The Xbox One SDK will support the complete Adobe video stack and full suite of Adobe
Primetime capabilities.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 20
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Analytics-Ready Players
The Adobe Primetime player SDK helps developers build players ready to tap into
powerful analytics reporting that provides deep insights into audience engagement and
the segmentation capabilities of the broader Adobe Analytics platform.
With the latest release of Video Analytics, video is even better integrated, featuring
“heartbeats” at 10-second intervals for maximum accuracy, with the ability to differentiate
content and ad playback. Adobe Primetime QoE monitoring enables operators to assess
business and marketing KPIs in the context of video quality and its impact on audience
engagement. For more details on Adobe Primetime video analytics, please see section 5.
Working with the Reference Design Kit
Comcast* has wrapped the Adobe Primetime video engine component library and built
their implementation of the RDK Media Framework, using these capabilities as the
advanced approach for full-featured TV experiences delivered over IP. The following
Adobe Primetime capabilities are used in Comcast’s implementation: high-quality video
playback, adaptive bitrate, trick play, DVR, alternate audio, closed captioning, digital
program insertion (DPI) cues with support for SCTE-style broadcast signaling and clientside manifest stitching for seamless ad insertion, and roadmap support for blackout
signaling. Content protection for IP video is also powered by Adobe Primetime in the RDK
and supports the full range of Adobe Primetime DRM features. In order to leverage the
Adobe Primetime-powered portions of the RDK, an operator would need to license those
features through a direct business relationship with Adobe.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 21
Publishing with Engagement in Mind
This chapter describes using Adobe Primetime to prepare and publish online video
content, including an overview, design philosophy, overall product highlights, and more
details on the capabilities of the Adobe Primetime packaging SDKs, Adobe Primetime
DRM, and Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass.
Figure 5: Adobe Primetime Publishing Overview
Overview
As shown in Figure 5, Adobe Primetime simplifies video distribution by providing
a unified, multiplatform publishing and DRM workflow that leverages an operator’s
existing broadcast infrastructure.
To enable broadcast-quality content protection, closed captioning, ad insertion, and other
critical features, Adobe Primetime defines a standard set of formats and protocols for
delivering video content over IP. These include support for MPEG-2 transport streams,
RTMP, HDS, and HLS at the origin portion of the workflow (ingest) plus support for HLS
and HDS for delivery to the subscriber’s video player.
Adobe Primetime-ready streams support ad signaling, blackout signaling, closed
captioning, content metadata ingest, content protection, failover and fault-tolerance, and
everything else required for delivering live, linear and VOD programming over IP.
To enable partners and operators to develop productive publishing workflows based on
these formats and protocols, Adobe Primetime provides SDKs and reference software for
delivering compatible video streams. Adobe is working with encoding vendors, publishing
service providers, and CDNs to help build a growing ecosystem of third-party
technologies that can deliver Adobe Primetime-ready streams.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 22
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Design Philosophy
The online video ecosystem includes many different vendors and service providers. In
such a new field, certain industry standards and best practices are not widely accepted or
may be missing altogether. Different members of the ecosystem will inevitably use
different standards, so that preparing video content requires a complex, multistep
workflow with numerous workarounds. This creates delays and headaches, and requires
operators to invest resources in smoothing a sometimes tumultuous process.
As shown in Figure 6, Adobe Primetime is designed to streamline and rationalize the
process of preparing, packaging, and protecting video for delivery to IP-connected
devices. By providing comprehensive SDKs, built-in support for TV Everywhere
authentication, and a robust and DECE-approved DRM, Adobe Primetime helps to create
a single, smooth workflow. This saves operators development time, lowers their operating
costs, and provides a superior viewing experience to more subscribers on more devices.
Figure 6: Adobe Primetime Monetization Capabilities
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 23
Capability Highlights
Deployment Flexibility
Adobe’s proven packaging components can be used off the shelf or custom components
can be built using Adobe Primetime SDKs and/or format specifications.
World’s Largest Installed Base for DRM
Premium video DRM that works effectively across all platforms, including the desktop
(Windows and OS X), mobile (Android and iOS), and digital home devices (Roku, Xbox,
and many smart TVs and set-top boxes), gives Adobe Primetime the largest installed base
for video to IP-connected devices.
Robust and Long-Lived Content Protection
Content protection remains bullet-proof over time, thanks to mechanisms like jailbreak
protection, key rotation, and license rotation.
Broadcast-Ready Functionality
Including license and key rotation, license chaining, secure license return, and whitelisting
that can restrict playback to trusted applications only.
A Single Publishing Workflow
Operators or third-party service providers can package and protect HLS content once,
and then deliver protected HLS content to a vast range of supported platforms. This
streamlined workflow saves both development time and operating costs.
Industry-Standard Solutions
Adobe Primetime Packaging SDKs enable industry-standard protocols such as HDS, HLS,
and RTMP for a streamlined and consistent workflow. Adobe Primetime DRM has been
approved for deals by all major U.S. movie studios, and for the UltraViolet cloud service
from industry consortium DECE.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 24
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Packaging SDKs & Specifications
Publishing with Adobe Primetime uses the CDN only for HTTP caching, which opens the
door to using multiple CDNs. Having fewer formats creates more efficient caching, better
CDN pricing tiers, and potentially lower costs. Using Adobe Primetime for publishing
can help operators streamline their workflow, gain flexibility, and save money.
Adobe provides a comprehensive set of software libraries and streaming protocols
that enable other participants in the video publishing ecosystem (such as CDNs and
encoders) to support industry-standard methods for preparing, encrypting, and
delivering video content.
Following these standards enables several key capabilities of Adobe Primetime, including
DRM, ad insertion, and player features such as closed captioning, trick play for fastforward and rewind, and other enhancements to the consumer experience.
These SDKs enable protocols such as:
• HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS)
• HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)
• Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP)
Operators can continue to use their existing workflows for packaging with CDNs, or move
to the Adobe Primetime packaging workflow. The benefits of using Adobe Primetime
instead of CDN packaging include smooth, tested support for seamless ad insertion, and
more options for content protection including protected HTTP dynamic streaming (PHDS)
and protected HTTP live streaming (PHLS).
Additionally, full specifications are available for Adobe Primetime’s protocols, such as
RTMP, HDS and the Adobe Primetime extensions to HLS.
Adobe Primetime DRM
The DRM capability of Adobe Primetime—formerly known as Adobe Access—provides
the industry’s most scalable, efficient workflow for delivering and protecting premium
video across desktops, mobile devices, and the digital home. Adobe Primetime DRM and
protected streaming technologies enable operators to extend their audience reach and
support a broad set of business models including rentals, subscriptions, and downloads,
both directly and through syndication and distribution partners.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 25
Adobe Primetime DRM is an industry standard: Every major Hollywood studio has approved
apps and services that use Adobe’s DECE-approved DRM.
Any effective scheme for DRM must balance tight content protection with a convenient and
robust viewing experience. Adobe DRM achieves both through a powerful set of protective
mechanisms that are effectively transparent to legitimate consumers.
Adobe Primetime DRM is a robust content-protection system, available across all
platforms and devices supported by the Adobe Primetime SDK. Adobe Primetime
DRM supports every important operator-ready feature for content protection, including:
• Application whitelisting to ensure that protected content only plays
within approved applications from trusted packagers
• Domain management to bind content to a domain of devices all sharing
a license under their business rules
• Device filtering so operators can exclude certain devices from specific
content based on screen type, OS, or hardware capabilities
• Key and license rotation that can be set either to a certain number of
seconds or to end-of-program, as preferred
• License chaining that supports a root license encrypted and bound to
a certain device, with automatic updating of all related leaf licenses
• Selectable output controls to guard against consumer recordings
Some highlights of Adobe Primetime DRM include:
The world’s largest installed base of any DRM on the desktop
DRM is available on any PC with Flash with no downloads or plug-ins required. This cuts
delays and enables faster stream startup.
Deployment flexibility
In addition to on-premise license server management, Adobe Primetime DRM is now
offered as a service. If an event calls for massive scale without the need for license
management, Adobe Primetime’s protected streaming can be used, secured with the same
technology powering Adobe Primetime DRM.
Simplified key management
This cuts development time for applications and lowers the total cost of operations.
Superior consumer experience when device is incompatible with license
The Adobe Primetime player SDK’s adaptive streaming selects a compatible rendition
of the content, instead of failing entirely or reducing the resolution shown on the device.
These errors can occur, for example, when HDCP is not available.
Fine-grained control over access to content
Licensing decisions can be based on specific characteristics of the device to provide more
granular control.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 26
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Some DRM systems lose effectiveness as time passes. This is not the case with Adobe
Primetime DRM, which controls access to clients that may have been breached through
license revocability and renewability. Sophisticated mitigation techniques help prevent
break-once, run-everywhere attacks. Jailbreak protection for mobile platforms helps
ensure the integrity of the client. Key rotation and license rotation ensure that a single
key is not used for an extended period of time, reducing the risk of unauthorized
access to content.
Adobe Primetime DRM for HLS
Adobe Primetime DRM for HLS uses an Adobe proprietary method to manage HLS keys
for iOS devices with the same robust DRM stack used for other platforms. This is enabled
by Adobe’s unique method of M3U8 manifest handling on iOS devices, the same
technique used to provide ad-splicing services. Every major Hollywood movie studio has
approved content deals using Adobe Primetime DRM for HLS.
Adobe Primetime Protected Streaming
Traditional DRM systems seek to authenticate and authorize each individual device and
playback session, but this is not always necessary for online video. Consider the use case
where an operator wants to license free content to a website to be monetized through
advertising; in this case, a traditional DRM approach would be expensive overkill. The
operator’s only concern is that no viewer can pirate the same video content.
For this use case, Adobe Primetime protected streaming provides much of the robust
security of a full DRM solution with no need to deploy license server infrastructure, and
at a lower price point. This protected stream uses a single set of encrypted policy data
spread across a large number of client devices, such as all website subscribers to a certain
website. This enables the CDN to cache all the license information, which significantly
lowers the cost of distributing licenses.
The operator can be assured that Adobe’s technology will validate the video playback
and ensure that the content is not tampered with. This technology is available for both
Adobe HDS (PHDS) and HLS (PHLS).
To scale effectively, HTTPS key exchange requires the operator to deploy extensive
resources for SSL acceleration, since by definition every HTTPS call from a consumer
must terminate at the key server. HTTPS key exchanges also require complex
management of client certificates to prevent unauthorized access to the key through
a simple download.
In contrast, PHLS requires no key exchange whatsoever. The key is provided as part of
the encrypted PHLS metadata delivered with the content. This key is decrypted in a
secure area inside the Adobe Primetime DRM client on the consumer’s device using
whitebox cryptography. The DRM metadata itself can be fully cached by the CDN. The
result is a robust, highly scalable system for delivering keys to subscribers that boosts
security and lowers key delivery costs.
Another weakness of HTTPS key exchange is that it cannot specify any policies to enforce
on the client. There is no way to specify the start or end dates for a license, the duration of
a lease, or any output controls, such as requiring HDCP for HD content.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 27
PHLS supports all the policy-enforcement capabilities of Adobe Primetime DRM.
This means that license expiry and lease durations can be managed, and output control
requirements can be enforced. If these functions were in the application, they would be
much easier to tamper with. PHLS performs these actions within a tamper-resistant
secure area.
Another unique feature that flows from fully supporting Adobe Primetime DRM: PHLS
can bind content to be played only by certain trusted applications. This can be used to
manage access to the content via syndication partners, and prevents unauthorized
consumers from simply passing the control URL to a different video player.
Adobe Primetime Pay-TV Pass
TV Everywhere enables pay-TV customers to access premium content on multiple
devices, both at home and on the go. Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass is a hosted service
that takes TV Everywhere from concept to reality by verifying a viewer’s access to content
in a simple and secure way, creating more value for pay-TV service.
The Emmy award-winning pay-TV pass capability of Adobe Primetime—formerly known
as Adobe Pass—is a universal, user-friendly system for unlocking pay-TV content on any
connected device. A pioneer in the concept of “TV Everywhere,” Adobe now powers
more than 120 TV Everywhere sites and apps, and integrates with more than 230
operators, representing 99% of all U.S. pay-TV households.
As a hosted service, Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass requires no additional downloads or
plug-ins, and delivers a seamless, hassle-free viewing experience for consumers.
Programmers now leveraging Pay-TV pass include ABC, Disney, ESPN, Fox, NBCU, NFL,
Starz, Turner, Viacom, and more.
For operators, Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass helps strengthen relationships with
subscribers by providing a secure, multi-screen viewing experience. It saves development
time and operating costs, and dramatically simplifies managing a myriad of different
relationships with programmers and pay-TV providers.
Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass is available as a hosted service that enables secure
communications between consumers, programmers, and operators to establish a user’s
entitlement to content. This enables rapid back-end integration based on existing
business rules, with quick time to market, and a more secure environment to prevent
fraud. For consumers, this delivers a superior experience, with more content available to
more people across more platforms.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 28
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass includes three core components:
1. The Access Enabler, a small file loaded into a programmer’s webpage
or into the player application on the device client side, which serves as the
glue for the overall TV Everywhere ecosystem
2. The Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass server, a hosted server that securely
communicates with both the Access Enabler on the client and the existing
authentication systems of the pay-TV operators
3. The Media Token Verifier to validate the authentication; the final step
in the process where the validation of a user’s entitlement can securely
fit into the overall CDN token workflow
Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass can be used as a standalone service option. It is also
available pre-integrated with the other capabilities of Adobe Primetime to streamline the
publishing, monetization, and optimization of TV Everywhere distribution for operators.
Adobe also provides a client-less set of web services to integrate with devices that are not
web-capable, such as certain smart TVs, set-top boxes, and game consoles. These RESTful
web services provide access to the Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass entitlement workflow.
With Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass, operators can do one quick and easy integration
using the appropriate APIs to access the entire ecosystem of programmers and reach
99% of all pay-TV households in the U.S.
The Adobe solution provides the convenience of single sign-on (SSO), so that subscribers
don’t need to log in repeatedly after their first authentication, even as they access different
TV Everywhere sites and apps. Other features include auto in-home authentication
(subject to operator capabilities) where no login is required. The service also supports
advanced use cases like parental controls, local blackout restrictions, and fraud limiting.
(The alternative, directly integrating with each individual provider, does not provide the
flexibility of an SSO that persists as subscribers move from site to site across the Internet.
Multiple integrations also introduce needless complexity and consume valuable
development resources.)
Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass has broad market penetration. The service supports apps
running on virtually any connected desktop, mobile, or digital home device. Where Flash
is available, Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass uses unique security features built into the
Flash runtime to reduce fraud. On platforms that do not support Flash—mainly iOS—
Adobe provides SDKs so that operators can build the same TV Everywhere functionality
into native apps for devices.
Adobe Primetime pay-TV pass can be used as a standalone service option, but it is also
available pre-integrated with other capabilities of Adobe Primetime that streamline the
delivery, protection, and monetization of TV Everywhere programming.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 29
Monetizing Video Content with Advertising
This chapter describes using Adobe Primetime to monetize video content
with advertising, including an overview, design philosophy, overall product highlights, and
more details on the capabilities of Adobe Primetime for ad decisioning and ad insertion.
Overview
The monetization capabilities of Adobe Primetime provide consistent ad management
across any connected device, supporting both client-side and server-side mechanisms for
inserting ads. This creates an optimal viewing experience for consumers, and addresses
the key business needs for operators within a single workflow.
The ad decisioning capabilities of Adobe Primetime include efficient and powerful
campaign management, experience management, forecasting, content library, redirect
support, and sales rights for revenue sharing. Fine-grained opportunity management
enables operators to allocate ad inventory between in-house teams and partners based
on predefined rules and obligations. This reduces friction throughout the online video
advertising workflow.
Adobe Primetime supports seamless ad insertion into live, linear, and VOD content, as
well as replacement and alternate content when needed. The ad insertion capabilities
include inventory management, ad routing, ad stitching, and ad tracking and reporting.
By combining both Adobe Primetime ad decisioning and Adobe Primetime ad insertion,
operators can execute targeted ad campaigns and manage ad opportunities, while
respecting their existing business arrangements through shared sales rights. Tight
integration with the player SDK, video analytics, and video content management systems
(VCMSs) enables Adobe Primetime to gather and report all the data an operator needs
to effectively monetize every stream.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 30
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Design Philosophy
Online video has evolved quickly, creating many new challenges for the industry. Video
advertising has evolved from simple pre-rolls to mid-roll ads inserted in multiple ad
breaks within a full-length episode. Complicating matters further, each device platform
supports a different set of ad formats and experiences. Traditional ad servers were not
built to handle this complexity.
The initial set of technical problems concerns how to effectively insert and serve video
ads within a production workflow. Beyond this looms the larger issue of how to effectively
monetize online video content, while respecting the traditional revenue-sharing models
between operators and programmers, and finding innovative ways to serve targeted ads
with online video content.
The goal of Adobe Primetime is to provide all the capabilities that operators need to
maintain and grow advertising revenues, including a comprehensive set of tools and
controls to provide powerful ad decisioning and flexible ad insertion at massive scale.
Capability Highlights
Executing video monetization strategy with the Adobe Primetime workflow provides
many benefits, including seamless ad insertion across any connected device, highly
granular control to create custom ad experiences, flexible ad insertion, and powerful
opportunity management to help optimize results and, if preferred, route ads to thirdparty ad decisioning services.
Seamless ad insertion for live, linear, and VOD content
Adobe Primetime provides full support for both client-side and server-side ad insertion
done seamlessly across any connected device, including desktops, mobile, and digital
home devices.
Unique and customized ad experiences
Operators can control every aspect of pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads to create
unique ad experiences using rules based on ad maps, content timelines, custom ad
pods, or ad patterns.
Powerful opportunity management
Adobe Primetime meets the strategic challenge of allocating scarce inventory between
in-house sales teams and an array of third-party partners, while respecting any existing
legal contracts and business obligations for sales rights and revenue-sharing. The
operator can set up business rules to manage complex relationships and allocate ad
inventory accordingly.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 31
IAB-compliant tracking and targeting
Adobe Primetime supports standard video ad formats defined by the IAB, and all the
features required for geographic and demographic targeting, analytics for tracking, and
overlays and companion ads that comply with all relevant industry standards.
Automated creative repackaging
Any incompatible ad creative delivered in FLV or MP4 format can be quickly transcoded
and repackaged as HLS within minutes through an automated cloud service available
from Adobe.
Comprehensive content library support
The system can ingest metadata from multiple VCMSs to create a content library that
represents each channel, episode, series, and video asset. The operator can use this for ad
experience management, forecasting, revenue share tracking, sales rights, and targeting.
Every ad request will be matched to the episode or video asset in the content library,
allowing for one-click targeting and reporting across multiple devices and programmers.
Detailed reporting
The ad platform can generate reports on ad monetization, availability, and geography
that enable the operator to drill down to the specific video asset, creative, key-value, or
zip code. An easy-to-use report builder enables the operator to create reports that access
any field in the system. Reports can be broken down by the hour and set to any time
zone. The system can also send scheduled reports to named users or external e-mails.
Integration with the Adobe Primetime player SDK
This tight integration supports advanced monetization tactics such as skip behavior,
overlays and companion experiences.
Ad Platform Implementation Options
Due to the modular design of Adobe Primetime, operators can either use ad insertion and
ad decisioning separately as standalone functions, or use both together to benefit from a
fast, turnkey implementation.
Operators that use Adobe Primetime’s ad insertion, ad decisioning, and video analytics
capabilities can move data on ad impressions and revenue into Adobe Analytics to merge
with data on website and application events. An operator can take first- and third-party
subscriber data, including data collected using Adobe Analytics, and merge it to create
audience segments that help dynamically target ads. Or an operator can simply use
first-party subscriber data to target ads.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 32
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Using Adobe Primetime’s monetization capabilities, operators can:
• Create a “no ads” rule to block ads from running on certain content or domains
• Prioritize rules to control exceptions (so that, for example, a “no ad” rule trumps all others)
• Apply rules automatically as content is ingested via the content metadata feed
• Control the rules for commercial breaks based on stream location or ad sequence
• Establish a minimum duration of content that must appear before any
linear or non-linear ads (such as no overlays for clips less than three minutes)
• Set default display times for non-linear ads (such as 10 seconds)
• Manage insertion of non-linear overlays based on existence of pre- or mid-roll ads
• Set when the first non-linear ad should appear after a chapter start, and the
frequency of all subsequent ads (such as every 60 seconds after the first ad)
• Preview non-linear ad experiences via a sandbox account
• Enforce content viewed between ads, including the minimum number
of seconds of content viewed since the last overlay, the minimum number
of clips loaded since the last overlay, or the minimum number of clips or
seconds since the last linear ad
Ad Decisioning
Adobe Primetime ad decisioning enhances direct sales through extensive forecasting and
robust campaign management, giving ad operations teams the tools they need to drive
maximum ad dollars while eliminating channel conflict. This capability is rounded out by
powerful creative trafficking, inventory management, partner management, reporting,
and TV Everywhere support to improve operational efficiency and visibility.
Adobe Primetime ad decisioning was built from the ground up for live, linear, and VOD
content in TV Everywhere environments. Ad decisioning is an optional Adobe Primetime
enhancement available either as a standalone function or seamlessly integrated with the
Adobe Primetime solution. For companies that use third-party ad servers, Adobe can
develop custom integrations that extend the lives of legacy infrastructure, or redirect
using industry-standard protocols such as VPAID, VMAP, and VAST.
Unlike other point product offerings, Adobe Primetime ad decisioning enjoys seamless
integration with the other capabilities of Adobe Primetime including ad insertion, QoE
monitoring, and video analytics. By combining the Adobe Primetime capabilities for ad
decisioning and ad insertion, an operator can manage ad campaigns against opportunities,
even while preserving their existing business arrangements through shared sales rights.
Tight integration with the player SDK, video analytics, and VCMS enables Adobe
Primetime to gather and report all the information the operator needs to effectively
monetize every stream.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 33
Campaign Management
Video ad campaign management includes setting up campaign goals and budgets,
targeting campaigns to certain types of content or to certain consumers based on
demographics or other data, and then trafficking the ads accordingly.
The heart of Adobe Primetime ad decisioning lies in the ad browser, a dashboard that
enables operators to analyze thousands of ads (line items), informed by real-time data on
ad impressions and revenues. Operators can understand campaign performance in
real-time by bulk editing and building views based on more than 20 different metrics.
Ads can be targeted by numerous factors including content metadata, device, geography
(down to the zip code), key value, site, and time of day. Content metadata is ingested into
the system automatically, either pushed by the operator or pulled by the ad platform at
scheduled intervals. Once ingested, this content metadata is available to every function of
the Adobe Primetime system. For example, content metadata can be used for ad
targeting and reporting, based on the assumption that any consumer viewing a certain
type of content will likely be interested in similar content or will share properties with
other consumers watching that type of content.
An operator can control ad delivery by CPC, CPM, frequency capping per consumer and
per stream, and competitive exclusions. The system supports many different ad formats,
including linear video, linear slate, overlays, ad bugs, skins, interstitials, companions, and
traditional online display. An operator can target linear ads by pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll,
and position within a commercial break (such as the first slot), or shrink a multi-ad
commercial break down to one ad to enforce 100% share of voice (SOV).
An operator can also segment their linear inventory by separating commercial breaks
into different types of pods (such as paid vs. promotional) managed by different
teams or organizations.
The operator can associate up to 12 master creatives with a single ad, and schedule
changes and percentage-based rotations over the life of the ad. Multiple companion units
can be associated with any ad that can be trafficked in seconds.
Multiple currencies are supported for ad budgeting and revenue reporting. Daily
exchange rates are saved and all ads are converted to USD on the backend for delivery
prioritization and accurate revenue-share reporting.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 34
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Beyond the ad experience controls available during ad insertion through ad maps,
content timelines, custom ad pods, and ad patterns, Adobe Primetime ad
decisioning also provides:
• Ad positioning within a pod, which can be exclusive (take over entire pod),
first, last, or any spot
• Targeting an ad to a specific pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll pod with the
option of using a custom ad pod
• Serving across pods to allow an ad to appear numerous times instead of
only once in a long-form stream
• Safeguards to ensure that no ad ever serves more than once within any
commercial break
• Competitive separation to block any ad for the same vertical from appearing
within any pod and within any stream
The campaign creation process includes two aspects, both creating a new campaign
and creating ads. Campaigns can contain multiple ads, and also need to address
multiple placements for the same ad, so Adobe Primetime has addressed and
simplified this workflow.
In addition to the targeting described above, Adobe Primetime provides an efficient
workflow for creating and trafficking ad campaigns, breaking down each campaign
into three sets of properties:
• Campaign Details
• Ad Details
• Creative Details
Under Campaign Details, as shown in Figure 7, the operator can identify the campaign
name, insertion order number, advertiser, agency, agency fee, category by vertical market,
and budget currency. When specifying the ad category, the operator can choose to block
any competitive ads from running in the same content.
Figure 7: Campaign Details Screenshot
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 35
Under Ad Details, as shown in Figure 8, the operator can provide many specifics about the
campaign budget, delivery, and targeting.
Figure 8: Ad Details Screenshot
Under Creative Details, as shown in Figure 9, the operator can give many specifics about
where the creative is hosted, the naming convention, any third-party redirects, and so on.
Figure 9: Creative Details Screenshot
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 36
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Ad Experience Management
Adobe Primetime ad decisioning gives ad operators full control over the viewer
experience for live, linear, and video on demand (VOD) content driven by either the
content or the consumer.
• For full-episode VOD, operators can leverage ad maps to control the ad experience
for individual assets or groups of content. The Adobe Primetime ad server enables
operators to organize commercial breaks into pods (e.g., promotional, standard, sponsor), to specify the maximum pod duration, number of ads per pod, and maximum ad duration, and to set ad eligibility rules.
• For short-form VOD, operators can use ad patterns to control the ad experience for
individual consumers and to specify the ad-to-content ratio and target patterns to specific consumers, content, devices, geography, or key values/audience segments.
• For linear or live streaming, Adobe Primetime ad decisioning supports dynamic passing of mid-roll duration at ad request, a default break duration, and a “kill” option
to return to content at any time during commercial playback; this is useful, for
example, during a live sports event when the play resumes after a timeout or offside.
Adobe Primetime supports four different approaches to control commercial break
patterns and create a unique consumer experience: ad maps, content timelines, custom
ad pods, and ad patterns.
Ad maps
Ad maps enable operators to create custom ad experiences for individual videos or
groups of videos that specify the number of commercial breaks, how long each break
should run, and how many ads can be served in each break.
The ad map can either default to the natural mid-roll cue points specified in the content
metadata, or else override those cue points through an interface in Adobe Primetime.
Ad maps allow commercial breaks to be turned on and off based on content metadata
or consumer information such as cookies, key values, IP data, and so on.
Adobe Primetime’s ad maps can be targeted to consumers based on key values or
demographic information that is passed through the player or device. This allows
customers to craft a differentiated ad experience for a certain group of consumers,
whether they are watching the same or different pieces of content. Key values can also
be used to control the session.
Ad maps can also automate Nielsen C3 (or C7) window management. This includes
setting the C7 window rules, defining the operator’s ad pod, and setting rules for when
to allow dynamic ad insertion.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 37
Content timelines
Adobe Primetime provides an alternative to ad maps that gives the operator’s video
content management system (VCMS) finer control over the ad experience for individual
assets. This is achieved by specifying the exact content timeline and ad experience when
publishing the content metadata.
For operators that choose this route, the Adobe team works with you during the
implementation to define the ad experiences including pre-rolls, mid-rolls, and post-rolls,
and to decide what type of ad units are eligible for different types of content. Mid-roll
breaks are typically identified by chapter metadata ingested through a content feed into
Adobe Primetime.
Adobe Primetime provides a robust set of controls to manage advertising policies for the
consumer experience as well as partner and sales rights access. These policies can either
be managed globally or else targeted specifically to any combination of domains, key
values, metadata, or any other targeting information.
Custom ad pods
An ad pod is another term for a commercial break within an online video. Adobe
Primetime enables customers to use ad pods to define highly specific ad experiences and
customize them to the specific needs of the target audience.
An operator can segregate ad inventory within a single commercial break into different
pods such as:
• Bumper Ad Pod, for example, with one ad running for 10 seconds max
• Sponsor Ad Pod, for example, with one ad running for 20 seconds max
• Standard Ad Pod, for example, with a maximum of three ads running for
90 seconds max, and any one ad running for 60 seconds max
Segregating ad inventory into different types of pods helps an operator create unique ad
experiences. After an ad pod is created, the operator can apply it to specific content based
on content timelines or ad maps. And any ad pod can be assigned to a certain sales team
or be eligible only for certain targeted ads.
Ad patterns
Ad patterns are used to control the sequencing of ads in online video, analogous to
setting up a playlist for content. Instead of making an individual decision on how and
when to run each unique creative, the operator can decide how to fit a group of ads
together, or sequence them in a natural progression; this is especially useful for
sponsored content.
Ad patterns are mainly used to control the ad experience in short-form VOD clips. A
side benefit of ad patterns is that they quickly reveal the ad-to-content ratio, which an
operator may wish to keep at a certain setpoint. Adobe Primetime provides a simple-touse interface to manage ad experiences globally, based on the same targeting criteria
available for individual ads.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 38
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
Within the advertising rules function of Adobe Primetime, an operator can manage an
ad pattern along numerous dimensions, including:
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
• Content metadata, by channel (such as drama), duration (such as short-form)
or genre (such as comedy)
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• Domain (such as Fox.com) or environment (such as HTML5)
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
• Key values, by webpage (such as homepage) or end-user data (such as
male or female)
Each linear commercial break (ad pod) can be defined by total duration, maximum
duration of any one ad, and maximum number of ads. The operator specifies how much
video content should appear before the next ad is eligible to appear.
With this approach, the operator can use the Adobe Primetime interface to quickly
expand or constrain availability of inventory and effectively manage the consumer ad
experience, without requiring any internal development resources.
Ad patterns can also be combined with ad maps to restrict the ad experience even
further, while still controlling the ad-to-content ratio, the maximum duration of ad
breaks, and the maximum duration of ads. Ad patterns can also overlap and be
prioritized, so that one takes precedence over all others (such as a “no ad” rule trumps
all other rules).
Automated Creative Preparation Service
One major pain point in creating a seamless ad experience is the need to provide all
video ad creative in a streamable format. But many third-party ad providers do not
consistently provide ad creative as HDS or HLS. To help bridge this gap for operators,
Adobe provides an automated creative preparation service.
This service works this way: The video player can flag any creative incompatible with
Adobe Primetime’s content splicing and automatically submit that creative to the Adobe
service. The service automatically does any required transcoding from FLV or MP4 into
HLS, making the compatible creative available within a few minutes.
Meanwhile, the submitting player selects a different ad so that the original consumer’s
playback continues without delay, while the new creative is soon ready for any
further viewers. Since the total number of ad creatives is much smaller than the total
number of viewers, this ensures that correctly prepared ad creative is available for
nearly all consumers.
Forecasting
Adobe Primetime ad decisioning forecasts by running a full simulation using all available
data, rather than the sampling approach used in point product offerings. This results in
the most accurate forecast possible, even capturing non-targeted key-value data to
project available audience segments.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 39
This capability helps operators to manage the complex interdependencies of the online
advertising business, enabling the operator to accurately determine:
• How much ad inventory will be available for any given content
• How to sell that inventory most effectively to maximize revenue
• How to create an optimum ad experience for consumers so that one stream is
not oversold while another is undersold
• Who has the right to sell each advertising slot between in-house teams and
multiple partners
The forecasting algorithms in Adobe Primetime have been carefully tuned to capture
frequency caps, time of day segments, and typical consumption patterns. This reflects
the reality that news content, for example, is different from entertainment.
The system provides real-time forecasting for just-in-time availability checks in seconds.
Inventory management reporting is available for in-depth sell-through and fill-rate
analysis by domain, content metadata, key value, geography, ad position, and so on.
Revenue forecasting is based on booked ads only. Contending ads can be reported to
show which ads are competing for the same inventory.
The operator has complete flexibility in forecasting on key values, without ever having to
predefine the variables to forecast on before starting to collect data. Instead, an operator
can change forecasting on the fly based on any key-value pairs stored in the system.
Content Library
Operators can ingest metadata from one or more VCMSs to create a content library
representing each channel, series, episode, and video asset. As many metadata fields as
desired can be imported, and this data leveraged for targeting, forecasting, sales rights,
revenue-share tracing, and ad experience management. Every ad request is matched to
the episode or video asset in the content library, allowing for one-click targeting and
reporting across multiple devices and operators.
Redirect Support
Adobe Primetime ad decisioning is the only video ad server that can read and generate
both VAST 3.0 XML schemas and VMAP 1.0 playlists that comply with IAB standards.
Other ad servers can only do one or the other. Both standards are essential for supporting
TV Everywhere initiatives.
Adobe also provides enhanced VAST 2.0 support that goes beyond the standard to allow
one ad request to return multiple ads. This creates the concept of a multi-ad pod without
using VAST 3.0. Adobe Primetime ad decisioning can generate multiple ads for a single
request, and can also interpret a response that includes multiple ads as an ad pod.
Adobe Primetime ad decisioning also provides full support for Video Player Ad-Serving
Interface Definition (VPAID) 1.0 and 2.0, the IAB standards for an interface between video
players and ad units that enable an interactive consumer experience.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 40
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Sales Rights
The business environment for an operator involves a complex network of existing
partners and sales rights. Adobe Primetime ad decisioning enables operators to allocate
inventory to internal sales teams and TV Everywhere partners using sales rights.
More specifically, the operator can direct ad calls to any ad server, sell-side platform
(SSP), yield manager, or third-party source of demand such as an ad network, based on
pre-defined rules and business obligations.
This reduces channel conflict throughout the broadcast-to-IP video advertising workflow,
replicating the national-to-local ad inventory split from traditional TV broadcasting for
any video delivered to a desktop or connected device.
Sales rights can be prioritized and targeted to similar ads to support complex carriage
agreements. Adobe Primetime supports exclusive and first rights up to a specified
percentage of inventory, as well as auctions based on CPM. Operators can create
sub-accounts for different sales teams or marketing groups with permissions to work
with specific content, devices, geographies, or sites.
Managing this complexity requires an automated system that provides quick lookup,
smart rules, and effective allocation of ad inventory, the function known as ad
opportunity management. This is a highly strategic part of monetizing video content,
enabling an operator to create and apply appropriate business rules for how much time to
allocate to advertising, who to allocate these advertising blocks to, and how to create an
optimum consumer experience, at the same time as maximizing revenues from
advertising.
Ad restrictions and experience rules can be enforced across sales teams, sub-accounts
and partners using Adobe Primetime’s partner management features, or by using VAST
3.0 or VAST 2.0 with VMAP 1.0.
An operator can target and prioritize contracts to allow for complex revenue-share
tracking and calculations in multiple currencies. The system supports many standard fee
structures including CPM, percentage, and volume tiers, as well as any custom fee
structures required.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 41
Ad Insertion
Any operator that plans to sell ads in online video content needs a highly reliable way
to insert ads into the video stream to create a smooth and buffer-free ad experience.
The ad insertion capability of Adobe Primetime supports the monetization of TV
programming across digital devices by seamlessly inserting advertisements into live,
linear, and VOD programming.
This allows for dynamic ad execution into video content on any IP-connected device,
creating an engaging, buffer-free ad and content experience for viewers. Flexible, scalable,
simple monetization capabilities can be delivered in either client- or server-side
implementations, and with turnkey redirects to third-party ad servers.
The logic that drives Adobe Primetime ad insertion includes sophisticated inventory
management, ad routing, and IAB-compliant impression tracking and reporting.
Decreases in buffering (caused by a dual-player model) can drive increased engagement
and increased revenue.
Figure 10: Dual-Player vs. Single-Player Approach
And for linear content, ad break execution must be frame-accurate, which cannot be
achieved through existing dual-player technology. Without a capability like Primetime
ad insertion, operators are forced to forgo revenue opportunities from advertising.
Adobe Primetime ad insertion enjoys seamless integration with the other capabilities of
Adobe Primetime, including robust ad decisioning, QoE monitoring, and video analytics.
Adobe Primetime ad insertion enables operators to serve house promos or third-party ad
network spots instead of showing a blank slate. Additionally, Adobe Primetime supports
multiple stacked pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ad calls.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 42
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
Each portion of a linear commercial break (also known as an “ad pod”) includes the
advertiser’s display or video creative shown within that commercial break. Each ad pod
can be configured by:
• Duration of break (such as 60 seconds)
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• Maximum duration of any one ad in the break (such as 45 seconds)
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• Maximum number of ads in the break (such as two)
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
These pod parameters can be defined in advance, defined dynamically a few seconds
before the break, or killed at any time.
Adobe Primetime can partition ad inventory and create rules for displaying video ads
based on a complex set of parameters, including content metadata ingested by the
system, device, domain, geography, or key values.
Inventory Management
Inventory management supports a strategic overview of target audience segments and
how to optimize ad campaigns based on who they are and what they’re watching.
With Adobe Primetime, inventory can be defined by ingesting metadata from multiple
VCMSs to create a content library representing each channel, series, episode, and video
asset. Operators can manage ad breaks and allocate inventory to TV Everywhere
partners by using business rules that reflect existing partner agreements. Ad break
inventory can be assigned as exclusive, by auction, or by percentage allocation.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 43
Ad Routing
Adobe Primetime provides the capability to identify ad opportunities and route ad calls
according to appropriate ad server-based inventory rules. All necessary targeting
parameters are included in redirected calls.
The system supports industry-standard protocols, e.g., VAST and VMAP, for
interoperability with third-party ad servers and ad networks, which is essential for
supporting TV Everywhere initiatives. And viewers can be targeted dynamically through
individual ad decisions to help maximize ad revenues.
Ad Stitching
The powerful ad stitching technology in Adobe Primetime provides a TV-like ad
experience with seamless transitions between content and ads, and no buffering across
desktop, mobile, or digital home devices. Both client- and server-side manifest stitching
are supported.
Operators can identify commercial breaks using traditional broadcast ad break cues
(e.g., SCTE 35), markers injected in real-time via a “big red button” interface, or ad
timelines stored in the publisher’s CMS. For maximum flexibility, the operator can also
skip or replace burned-in advertisements based on viewing windows or regional
advertisement agreements.
Ad Tracking & Reporting
Adobe Primetime supports IAB-compliant ad impression and ad progress tracking
beacons to publisher and agency ad servers. And the system can generate historical
reports and forecasts for available and monetized impressions, including insights into
content attributes, viewer segments, and geographic viewership.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 44
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Optimizing Video Strategy with QoE Monitoring
and Video Analytics
Overview
Adobe Primetime provides detailed video analytics to help operators gain insights about
the experience and activities of their online audience. These capabilities rest on a service
that collects video data with 10-second accuracy, formats video data to be handled like
any other data, and enables video data to be analyzed and displayed in real-time.
Adobe Analytics was originally designed for tracking and analyzing data on website
visitors. Adobe Primetime video analytics extends this service by capturing fine-grained
data on online video quality and audiences in real-time. The resulting video data is
then displayed via real-time dashboards that provide detailed Quality-of-Experience
(QoE) monitoring.
Adobe Primetime provides rich metrics on the entire end-to-end performance of a video
system from publishing, to delivery, to authentication, to playback. These metrics are
reported to the operator in real-time through templated or custom dashboards. This
helps operators to quickly identify the most profitable paths through digital assets, see
where any visitors are navigating away, and identify the critical success metrics for online
video distribution.
Figure 11: Adobe Primetime Data Foundation
As shown in Figure 11, QoE monitoring will include integrated views of data throughout
the full cycle of experience from content origination and delivery to viewer entitlement
validation and playback to engagement and ad decisioning and optimization. Adobe
Primetime video analytics will allow that data to be available for deeper analysis
with custom reporting and segmentation by video operations, marketing, and ad
operations teams.
The data collection in Adobe video analytics serves as a pre-aggregation service for video
content with Adobe Analytics. With no implementation changes or added development
costs, the high-frequency data becomes available in Adobe Analytics. This provides
highly granular reports, for the first time enabling precise engagement measurement at
reasonable cost, along with all the benefits of the powerful segmentation and analysis
tools of Adobe Analytics.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 45
Design Philosophy
To deliver an effective consumer experience, operators need to collect real-time data
throughout the video delivery process, drawing data both from the player and from any
related upstream services. The more this data is sampled, the more complete a picture of
the consumer experience can be derived; sampling video every 10 seconds provides a
more accurate picture of an audience than 30- or 60-second samples.
Once collected, powerful analytics must be available to process and analyze the raw
data. And the results must be available through data visualizations that are easy to scan,
and customizable for an operator’s preferences, as well as configurable thresholds for
automated alerting. This data must be formatted so it can be integrated with the
operator’s existing data repository or partner-provided services to support additional
strategic services.
The QoE monitoring and video analytics capabilities of Adobe Primetime have been
designed to meet these goals, and provide consistent, accurate, and timely data to help
operators make decisions that further their business goals.
Capability Highlights
Flexible real-time dashboards and reports
Operators can instantly create, customize, and distribute reports and dashboards in a
variety of formats that can be viewed on desktops, mobile devices, and HD displays.
Single source of data
Adobe video analytics provides a single place to measure, report, and integrate data
from content and ad performance across screens.
Actionable key performance indicators
Operators can see information on their key performance indicators (KPIs) including
customer loyalty, drop-off rates, and visitor profiles, and use these insights to
improve engagement.
Real-time intelligence
Adobe Primetime shows how the distribution and monetization initiatives of an
operator are performing in real-time, so they can make any required corrections to
improve engagement.
Universal viewer profiles
Operators can combine data on video viewing with data on application and website
behavior to generate a universal consumer profile that supports more fine-grained
segmentation and campaigns for their advertisers.
Accurate attribution
Operators can pinpoint the most successful ads, campaigns, channels, and paths to
conversion to help make more-informed recommendations for their advertisers.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 46
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Adobe Video Analytics
Adobe Primetime video analytics collects highly granular data about video playback,
providing high-accuracy video reporting, along with stream-based pricing for costeffective results. In this way, Adobe Primetime makes collecting video analytics as simple
as collecting content analytics. This is an industry first that benefits any operator seeking
to optimize revenue and engagement from online video content.
Data is available within 10 seconds of playback and updated every 10 seconds to enable
operators to troubleshoot any problems as they arise, and make rapid corrections.
This regular heartbeat design allows for standardizing Adobe’s video analytics, delivering
consistent key metrics across implementations for starts, completes, and time spent to
derive the average minute audience metric.
This fundamentally changes Adobe Primetime video analytics, moving it toward an
integrated data platform that drives higher-quality experiences, longer and deeper viewer
engagement, and more effective monetization.
For example, Adobe Analytics can track visitors to an operator’s website and record
where they click through non-video content, while Adobe video analytics tracks what
video content visitors watch and for how long. All this data can be integrated—and
merged with further data sources if desired—to create a universal viewer profile with a
richer, more comprehensive view of the subscriber.
These powerful capabilities help unlock and target high-value audiences using the
most accurate methods. Operators can combine audience segments from first-party,
second-party, and third-party data sources into high-value audience segments, and
then use those to boost ad revenue.
The same real-time data used by the operations team is available in Adobe Analytics for
deeper historical analysis. This creates an integrated database for real-time and historical
data that eliminates the traditional data silos between operations and marketing teams.
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 47
Adobe Primetime QoE Monitoring
Adobe Primetime QoE monitoring gives operators an up-to-date snapshot of the current
status of the entire video delivery system. This capability enables the collection of
real-time analytics for video quality (e.g., bitrate, buffers, errors) and viewer engagement
(e.g., concurrent audience, time spent).
Real-time dashboards in Adobe Primetime provide detailed metrics on audience
engagement across content and ads, giving operators insight into who’s watching and
what’s happening right now, which is especially valuable for live and linear content.
The real-time dashboards in Adobe Primetime display audience and ad impression
metrics side by side, so that the operator can monitor QoS, engagement, and revenue
in a single view.
QoE Overview Dashboard
As shown in Figure 12, the QoE Overview dashboard is designed to provide a quick
snapshot of all the significant metrics for video delivery that contribute to an engaging
viewing experience.
Figure 12: QoE Overview Dashboard
This dashboard shows the following metrics, both as numerals and as line graphs
over time:
• Total number of active streams
• Total number of plays of any one video
• Average time to start rolling
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 48
Adobe Primetime
•ADOBE PRIMETIME
SOLUTION OVERVIEW
•DEVELOPING WITH
THE ADOBE PRIMETIME
PLAYER SDK
•PUBLISHING WITH
ENGAGEMENT IN MIND
• MONETIZING VIDEO CONTENT
WITH ADVERTISING
• OPTIMIZING VIDEO STRATEGY
WITH QOE MONITORING AND
VIDEO ANALYTICS
• GLOSSARY OF TERMS
AND ACRONYMS
Startup & Error Reporting Dashboard
As shown in Figure 13, the Startup & Error Reporting dashboard provides more
detailed metrics on video startup and error conditions, for those who want to drill
down into these issues. Playback error reporting is an off-the-shelf feature of the
Adobe Primetime player SDK.
This dashboard shows the following metrics, both as numerals and as line graphs
over time:
• Average startup time
• Total number of quits before video starts rolling
• Startup errors, total number and percentage of total plays
• Total number of playback errors
Figure 13: Startup & Error Reporting Dashboard
Buffers & Bitrates Dashboard
As shown in Figure 14, the Buffers & Bitrates dashboard provides more detailed metrics
on video buffering and bitrates. This dashboard shows the following metrics, both as
numerals and as line graphs over time:
• Average buffer rate
• Average bitrate of delivered video
Figure 14: Buffers & Bitrates Dashboard
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 49
Geography Dashboard
As shown in Figure 15, the Geography dashboard shows where errors are taking place
by geography. The left side of this dashboard shows a map of the U.S.A. with each state
shaded from white to 100% red; the brighter the red, the more errors in that state. The
right side of this dashboard shows a scrollable list of states, with the total number of
streams and percent of total streams running in each state, and the total number and
percentage of streams with errors in each state.
Figure 15: Geography Dashboard
Content Type & Device Breakdown Dashboard
As shown in Figure 16, the Content Type & Device Breakdown dashboard provides
detailed metrics on the type of content running and the type of device being used
to view it. This dashboard shows the following metrics as numbers, percentages,
and bar graphs:
• Live, linear, and VOD streams, with and without errors
• Desktop, tablet, and phone devices, with and without errors
Figure 16: Content Type & Device Breakdown Dashboard
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 50
Glossary of Terms and Acronyms
ADM: Ad Management
Application (or app): The software running on the consumer’s desktop, mobile or digital
home device (same as client)
C3: An audience metric created by Nielsen that measures the ratings for average
commercial minutes in live programming plus three days of DVR playback to allow
for timeshifting
CATV: Cable Television (a type of operator)
CDN: Content Distribution Network
CEA 608/708: Two standards for closed captioning; CEA-608 is an older spec for
NTSC while CEA-708 is for DTV
CLEC: Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (a type of operator)
Client: The software running on the consumer’s desktop, mobile or digital home
device (same as application)
CMS: Content Management System, normally used for static webpage content
CPC: Cost Per Click
CPM: Cost per thousand impressions, a common way to sell packages of
online advertising
Customer: The operator using the Adobe Primetime system
CVAA: Communications and Video Accessibility Act
DASH: Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP
DBS: Direct-Broadcast Satellite (a type of operator)
DECE: Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem
Developer: The software developer working for the operator
DMP: Data Management Platform
DRM: Digital Rights Management
DVR: Digital Video Recorder
DTV: Digital TV
DXVA: DirectX Video Acceleration
HD: High Definition
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 51
HDCP: High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, a form of copy protection
developed by Intel Corporation for digital content
HDS: HTTP Dynamic Streaming
HLS: HTTP Live Streaming, a format used by Apple to stream video to iOS devices like
the iPhone and iPad
IAB: Interactive Advertising Bureau
IPTV: Internet Protocol TV (different from smart TV)
M3U8: A file format for digital playlists. M3U is the original plain-text ASCII format,
while M3U8 uses UTF-8 Unicode characters. M3U and M3U8 files are the basis for
the HLS format used for streaming video by Apple.
MBR: Multiple BitRate
MRC: Media Rating Council
MSO: Multiple System Operator, a collective term for all operators
MVPD: Multi-channel Video Programming Distributor, commonly called “operator”
Operator: A collective term for multichannel video programming distributors
(MVPDs), Multiple System Operators (MSOs), pay-TV operators, satellite providers
and telecommunications companies (telcos)
OVP: Online Video Platform
Partner: A business partner within the online video ecosystem that provides goods
or services to the operator
PHDS: Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming
PHLS: Protected HTTP Live Streaming
Programmer: A collective term for the entities that organize and broadcast content
(e.g., NBC Universal).
QoE: Quality of Experience, a measurement that provides a more holistic view
than basic QoS
QoS: Quality of Service, a measurement of the quality of the video stream delivery
REST: Representational State Transfer, an architecture for distributed hypermedia
networks such as the web and the most popular web API design model
RTMP: Real Time Messaging Protocol
SAS 70: Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 for Service Organizations is a widely
recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants (AICPA) for web services
Adobe Primetime Technical Primer for Operators 52
SCTE 35: Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers 35 2007, an ANSI standard
that defines the cue messages embedded in the transport stream, the upcoming
splice points, and other timing information.
Smart TV: A TV that can connect to the Internet
SSO: Single Sign-On
SSL: Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol for encryption that uses a public key to ensure
the identity of the remote party
STB: Set-top box
TVE: TV Everywhere
VAST: Video Ad Serving Template, an IAB standard for a universal XML schema
for video ads
VCMS: Video Content Management System, used for online video content
VMAP: Video Multiple Ad Playlist, an IAB standard for ad playlists
VPAID: Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition, an IAB standard for an interface
between video players and ad units
WebVTT: Web Video Text Tracks, a standard for closed captioning
Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2704
USA
www.adobe.com
Adobe, the Adobe logo, Adobe Flash Player, and Adobe Primetime are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems
Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Android and Chrome are registered trademarks of Google Inc. Firefox is a
registered trademark of the Mozilla Foundation. Direct3D, DirectX, Internet Explorer, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One are
registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. OpenGL is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics International Corp. Mac,
Macintosh, and OS X are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Roku is a registered trademark of Roku, Inc. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners.
All trademarks are used for editorial purposes only, with no intention of infringing the copyright owners.
© 2014 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.
95021132 02/14
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