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Crackle Introduces Always On Playback, Powered by Adobe Primetime
The lean-forward online video experience gets the lean-back treatment: Crackle programming will begin playing automatically on launch.

At its upfront presentation today, Crackle introduced a system that makes active entertainment a little more passive. Viewers enjoy the experience of turning on a television and having something playing, an experience they don't get with on-demand apps which require them to immediately select a program. But Crackle aims to change that with its upcoming Always On experience. When viewers load Crackle a show will automatically begin playing. Viewers will be free to call up a newly designed program guide and select something else or continue with the automatic selection. Always On will debut on Crackle's Roku app in May, then follow on other platforms this summer.

Always On will be powered by Adobe Primetime, which will handle video playback, personalization, and ad measurement. Using the Primetime SDK, Crackle will stream high definition video and offer seamless transitions when moving from content to ads. Along with Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Analytics, the system will keep track of who's watching and serve targeted ads.

"Sony Crackle’s hybrid programmed and on-demand experience is revolutionary," writes Campbell Foster, Adobe Primetime marketing director, on the Adobe Primetime blog. "Most TV viewing experiences focus on either a really good on-demand experience or a really good programmed experience. Crackle has struck a unique balance between the two experiences."

Crackle raised eyebrows in February when it decided against presenting during the NewFronts, which start on April 27, and instead opted to give an upfront presentation along with cable stations. The Wall Street Journal quoted Crackle general manager Eric Berger as saying that his company is creating long-form premium content and "many of the players at the Newfronts are not."

During its upfront, Crackle presented its upcoming original programming, which includes a sequel to the 2001 movie Joe Dirt.

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