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Adobe Adopts Multi-DRM Sales, Discontinues Reseller Agreements

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Partnering with ExpressPlay, Adobe announced that it now offers a multi-DRM solution called Adobe Primetime DRM, with customers able to buy the four major digital rights management (DRM) solutions—Microsoft PlayReady, Google Widevine, Adobe Access, and Apple FairPlay—at one time. The service is available primarily to customers using the Adobe Primetime distribution platform, though Adobe may license to large companies on a case-by-case basis. In a change from existing policy, Adobe will no longer support third-party DRM resellers, though third-party DRM licensing managers such as Irdeto and Vualto can continue to administrate Access DRM on behalf of their customers. Otherwise, customers will need to come to Adobe directly.

The multi-DRM solution ties in with the release of Adobe's Primetime HTML5 TVSDK. Now in general availability (GA), the HTML5 TVSDK creates players for live, linear, and on-demand playback. When used with the multi-DRM solution, players built with the HTML5 TVSDK will automatically provide the correct DRM for each platform: Access for Primetime users (Flash and HTML5), PlayReady for Internet Explorer, Widevine for Chrome and Android, and FairPlay for iOS.

Adobe is emphasizing the convenience of the new system, which provides a one-stop shop for customers who previously had to maintain multiple DRM accounts. Customers with established in-house workflows (typically large broadcasters) can deploy the multi-DRM solution on-premises, while those with cloud workflows will likely favor the cloud licensing solution.

Adobe will need three to four months to put the new system in place. The ink is still wet on this, noted Campbell Foster, Adobe's director of product marketing, saying that the company wants to be able to guarantee uptime on all platforms and not beta test the solution on customers.

The HTML5 TVSDK is available today, and features content pre-caching for instant playback. This is the latest version of Adobe's three-year-old TVSDK, a core element in the Primetime platform.

This article includes reporting by Jan Ozer.

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