Adobe Primetime officially launched this week, providing an end-to-end solution to distribute, monetize, analyze and optimize online video.

I encourage you to read the official Adobe announcement for a more in-depth overview. This is a multi-part blog miniseries to highlight key relevant features. In the first part, I’m going to describe a key feature for both users and advertisers: Ad Insertion.

There are fundamental challenges with online video ad insertion today:

  • Seamless ad insertion on both desktop and mobile devices is difficult, and approaches are fragmented
  • The ad transition user experience is often poor, with buffering between content and ads
  • The percentage of streaming on the web is increasing, and high-quality live ad insertion is fundamentally harder than video on demand (VOD)

Without implementing the proper technology, it is challenging to provide a seamless user experience. One of the challenges resides with the very popular, but inefficient, dual player approach.


Having a dual player means swapping the video players between the ad breaks and the main content (e.g. via the ProxyElement with OSMF). Unfortunately, with a dual player approach come many disadvantages including the required buffering between ads and content, the overhead of having multiple player instances, the higher CPU and memory consumption.

On mobile platforms, the disadvantage of using a dual-player is even more pronounced. For example, the video stack on iOS provides a lot less flexibility. Adobe used its profound expertise of video protocols, packaging and playback to create a low-level, seamless ad insertion solution that provides the best possible user experience. It solves this complicated task much more efficiently than other approaches. The time has come to move beyond a dual player, and provide a quality experience for the next generation of TV viewing across screens.

Interested in seeing this in action? Check out NBC Sports Live Extra on desktop, iOS and Android, or XFINITY TV by Comcast.


> Part 1 – Ad Insertion

Part 2 – Solving the Android Video Problem

Part 3 – A Single Protocol and DRM

Part 4 – Bringing It All Together