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Adobe Announces End-to-End OTT Solution, ComScore Partnership

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Adobe Summit, the company's yearly marketing conference, begins today in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now hosting over 10,000 attendees, the conference outgrew its Salt Lake City, Utah, home. As befits the bigger location, Adobe has two major pieces of news for the online video industry.

Responding to the growing interest in direct-to-consumer over-the-top (OTT) offerings, Adobe is launching its own end-to-end solution within its Primetime platform, one that helps publishers create, market, and monetize new video services. The offering combines "Adobe’s advertising, analytics, data management, ad campaign, and personalization engines with the video playback, ad insertion, and DRM capabilities of Adobe Primetime," says Jeremy Helfand, vice president of Adobe Primetime. Launching in beta, it aims to help publishers create more personalized and engaging video services.

The hook in Adobe's offering isn't how it packages content for OTT delivery, but how it uses the company's big data resources to market to customers. It uses Adobe Analytics and Audience Manger, for example, to identify audience segments open to an OTT services, then crafts successful pitches using A/B and multivariate testing. Once consumers have signed on, Adobe serves up content recommendations based on over 200 billion online video consumption points from U.S. households. The system learns from customer's viewing histories, and can send program notifications through email campaigns. The offering brings that same big data approach to monetization, sending relevant ads to consumers and helping publishers find the best monetization options, including subscriptions, rentals, electronic sell-through, and advertising.

Video content companies were doing all this already, but doing it piecemeal, Helfand says. Adobe offers a unified approach in creating a direct relationship with the consumer. As this type of service becomes mission-critical, companies need an end-to-end platform, he adds.

While Adobe hasn't named OTT beta clients yet, Helfand notes that Sony Crackle, MLB Advanced Media, and HBO are already using many of the pieces.

Also at the conference, Adobe is announcing a partnership with ComScore—one that sounds quite a bit like the one it announced with Nielsen in October 2014. ComScore will incorporate Adobe Certified Metrics into its Cross Media, Audience, and Advertising product suites. Adobe will add ComScore's audience data to Adobe Marketing Cloud. The partnership brings crucial online multiscreen viewing data to ComScore, providing metrics on video starts, average time spent watching, and engagement. Adobe is able to offer viewer data that ComScore lacks, including a more complete view of viewers' time spent with ads. Adobe's SDK gathers that data across multiple devices.

ComScore improved its TV measurement abilities with its Rentrak merger, which completed last month. Now, it's working with Adobe to up its online capabilities. The goal is to create a digital total audience currency, one that can be used by advertisers across screens.

Adobe now has similar partnerships with both of the giants in TV and online video measurement, something that would seem to cause a little friction. Both companies would probably prefer exclusives, Helfand acknowledges, but says the relationships are healthy and he's not concerned. "I think they would be more worried if we said that we're going in to the ratings business," Helfand says, adding quickly, "Which we're not."

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