The Adobe Media Player debuted this week, and after learning a little more at the launch party and trying it out myself, I’ll share a few thoughts on it. You can also find a screencast I created with the visuals (no voiceover); next time I’ll resize it and embed it, but it’s my first screencast, so I appreciate your patience.
* Update: I removed the comparison to Veoh and included a statement from them.
First, a few thoughts on the player:
* It’s the second announcement lately with the AMP acronym. Yahoo also previewed its own AMP, the Advertising Management Platform. The two are not related, though if Adobe became a Yahoo partner, maybe AMP could become part of AMP. Or maybe Adobe will acquire Yahoo, or Yahoo will outsource its search ad delivery to Adobe. Anything can happen these days.
* Oh, the player… it’s pretty good. Maybe it’s revolutionary. The biggest problem is its a downloadable media player, and people aren’t in a rush to download more stuff to their desktops. Then again, it may well provide people with an easier way to access their favorite content, so there is some sort of value proposition for the consumer.
* The player allows you to either stream or download your shows, and you can subscribe to them like a podcast.
* The content includes lots of premium goodies from MTV, HGTV, Food Network, and elsewhere, and then lots of random stuff from online video sources covering everything from men’s style to international cartoons. The important thing: it does have The Hills.
* Advertising can take any form – overlays, pre-rolls, potentially pop-ups… you name it. They can serve just about anything. It’s up to the content provider. If MTV likes 10 overlays per 20 minutes and HGTV likes 2 30-second spots (all hypothetical), that’s what you’ll get.
* The launch party was fantastic, held at Chop Suey on the second floor of the Renaissance Hotel overlooking Times Square from the north side. They welcomed guests’ companies on a massive Times Square billboard and snapped people’s photos in front of it. Then they did live demos by controlling that billboard. I’ll post the shots when I have them.
Here’s how AMP (Adobe’s) compares to other media players out there:
Hulu: Hulu’s web-only. You can select favorite shows but you don’t subscribe to the content. Also, Hulu’s content deals aren’t as far-ranging as AMP’s right now, though they have more full seasons, plus movies.
iTunes: iTunes is download-only. While you can subscribe to video podcasts automatically, you have to pay for most of the premium content that you’ll find on AMP. One iTunes advantage: you can port your videos on your iPod. iTunes also works with Apple TV.
RealPlayer: I know it’s still around, but does anyone use this? I always resented that it tried making you add a million other things you didn’t want and took forever to go through its installation.
Joost: The quality’s great on Joost but the controls aren’t, and then as for content, while they have a few name-brand shows, most of it’s stuff like Extreme Jackalope Racing and Omaha Beach Party.
A note on Veoh, which was previously mentioned as a comparison: Veoh offers both a web-based service and a downloadable app (VeohTV), and
we have official partnerships with numerous major content providers, including
CBS, Viacom FEARNet, 60 Frames, NextNew Networks, Vuguru, National Lampoon, Ford
magazine, Car & Driver, and many more.