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Keyed Up for ‘TV Everywhere’

3/28/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Adobe Systems wants to check the IDs
for the pay TV industry’s “TV Everywhere” invitation-only
party.

The software company, whose Flash media platform powers
most Internet video sites, is now actively marketing the
Adobe Pass authentication service as a solution to let TV subscribers
access premium programming from a slew of Internet-
connected devices.

Adobe Pass is already in service and Turner Broadcasting
System is the charter customer for the authentication product.
Turner’s TV Everywhere sites for TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon
Network and Adult Swim all use the Adobe Pass system
to connect with pay TV providers. MTV Networks also is using
the Adobe Pass system.

On the provider side, Adobe has integrated with Comcast,
Dish Network, Verizon FiOS TV and Cox Communications to
let their respective subscribers log in once to Turner’s TV Everywhere
sites — or other Adobe Pass participants — without
having to re-enter their credentials on the other sites.

Adobe Pass simplifies integration with pay TV providers,
according to Jeremy Legg, Turner’s senior vice president of
business development and multiplatform distribution. The
system “enables us to get to market quickly and serve customers
the content they want, where they want it,” he said.

The service also lets Turner more quickly provide content
to the “new smartphones, tablets and Internet-connected TVs
hitting the market,” Legg added.

Adobe’s model is to charge cable programmers a fee based
on the number of user “play” requests the company processes.
Todd Greenbaum, senior product manager for Adobe Pass,
declined to provide details.

There’s no charge for the pay TV providers to integrate with
Adobe Pass to have their subscribers validated for partner
websites (such as Turner’s TBS.com/tveverywhere or TNT.tv/
tveverywhere
) — but there is if they are using it to serve content
from their own websites, Greenbaum said.

Adobe Pass uses Flash Access for enhanced security as well
as HTML5 for devices like Apple’s iPad and iPhone, which do
not support Adobe Flash. Content owners can deliver content
across multiple platforms, including Microsoft Windows,
Google’s Android and Google TV, Apple’s iOS and Mac OS,
and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry. With Flash Player 10.1,
built-in client-side security enables fraud prevention by binding
the user to their device so limits can be set on devices per
household account.

“With every single play request that requires a user to be
authenticated we do a check to make sure they’re still a valid
customer,” Greenbaum said.

Adobe also has lined up Brightcove and content-delivery
network provider Limelight Networks as initial “enablement
partners” for Adobe Pass. Th e company worked with Synacor,
a provider of Web-portal software, to enable Dish’s TV Everywhere
connection with Turner.

Brightcove, for its part, plans to integrate the Adobe authentication
system into its online video-publishing system
to offer new TV Everywhere services to broadcasters, cable
programming networks and distributors. The Brightcove TV
Everywhere authorization service with Adobe Pass is expected
to become generally available in the second half of 2011.

HOW IT WORKS

1. Visitors to an Adobe Pass-enabled website (e.g., TNT.tv/tveverywhere) select
their provider.

2. Each subscriber enters a username and password, which Adobe validates
with the pay TV provider, and passes that OK back to the original website.

3. When subscribers who have recently logged in via Adobe Pass access
video on a different participating site (e.g., TBS.com/tveverywhere),
Adobe checks again with the TV provider to confirm it is authorized to access
the content.

 

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April