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Upcoming Industry Conferences
Streaming Media East [2-3 June 2020]
Esport & Sports Streaming Summit [2 June 2020]
OTT Summit [2-3 June 2020]
Video Engineering & Technology Summit [2-3 June 2020]
Enterprise & Education Video Summit [3 June 2020]
Content Delivery Summit [1 June 2020]
Past Conferences
Streaming Media West [19-20 Nov 2019]
Esport & Sports Streaming Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
OTT Leadership Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
Video Engineering Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
Live Streaming Summit [19 Nov 2019]

Interview: Adobe Director of Video Project Management Bill Roberts

Jan Ozer sits down with Bill Roberts to discuss the trends impacting the future direction of Adobe Creative Suite for video pros, including the decline of 3D, the rise of 4K, and second-screen viewing. Other topics included the growth of Creative Cloud, and the development arc of Apple Final Cut Pro X.

Metadata Features

SMP: How does metadata impact this type of high-volume production?

Roberts: It's critical: If you don't wrap it in metadata, you can't find it. That's why many of our broadcast customers insist on metadata through the entire workflow, and why they like Prelude so much. It lets them wrap their content in metadata and flow it directly into enterprise media asset management system.

It's not just large organizations, either. We're starting to see even small producers use the metadata-related features in Prelude, Adobe Story, and Premiere Pro. A lot of that is driven by the switch from tape to file-based content. With tape, you had your backup and you knew right where it was. Without metadata, even if your media asset management system is just a large hard drive, you can't find your files.

And metadata entry and usage is only going to grow, in part because we built Prelude as a platform, complete with APIs and data structures, that you can integrate into a media asset management or ingest system. At IBC, there were over 20 separate vendors demonstrating custom panels for metadata entry in Prelude or Premiere Pro panels.

These can be driven by inexpensive technicians during the ingest phase. With sporting events in particular, think of how much value you add to the content when you can instantly click to the winning goal, or find a great clip of a particular star.

Adobe Prelude
A screen from the Deltatres custom metadata entry panel for European Football.

Adobe Story

SMP: Where does Adobe Story fit in and how has that product done?

Roberts: For readers who don't know, Adobe Story is our scriptwriting tool, and it's built up a very large independent community, and is now used to produce some soap operas in Hollywood and television episodics in the UK. The key differentiating feature that Adobe Story has over other script-creation tools is metadata that can be used to drive on-set activities, and how it flows through into the project.

Now some producers are using Story to create their shooting schedules and manage the production process. Then they ingest the script into Premiere Pro to help streamline their editing.

Adobe Story
A shooting schedule derived from Adobe Story. 

Creative Cloud

SMP: Which is a nice transition into Creative Cloud, which is the only way to access Adobe Story. How is Creative Cloud doing?

Roberts: While I can't disclose numbers, we are thrilled with the adoption of Creative Cloud. We've seen more and more customers choosing Creative Cloud over Creative Suite—for example, the percentage of customers choosing Creative Cloud when buying on has gone from 50% to 60% to over 70% in recent weeks. And we only see the numbers growing. It's interesting that one of the challenges of getting users to upgrade is that older versions of the products are quite good. Everyone typically wanted the new features, but not everyone wanted to upgrade because the price barrier could be high. Now, with a monthly subscription price, the barrier is much lower, and lots of folks are choosing that route.

It's interesting for us; now we feel like we have to keep the users happy so they keep paying their monthly subscription. This model also allows us to iterate faster, so features that don't quite make it into the big new release can be released to subscribers a month or two later. Because of financial reporting requirements, we can't release these features to perpetual buyers until the next big point release. 

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