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Adobe Launches New Media Player

The Adobe Max 2007 conference is going on right now in Chicago, and yesterday the company announced the release of their new Adobe Media Player.

The Adobe Media Player is an AIR application designed to give users the ability to view and enjoy Flash video content wherever and whenever they want, both online and offline. Instead of scraping content from the web, Adobe Media Player will be enhanced by content publishers. Additionally, publishers who would like to monetize their content via advertising will be offered a co-branded version of the player.

Adobe Labs gives a fairly explicit breakdown of how their new media player can be used and enhanced by end-users and content publishers. Some examples include discovering new Internet TV shows, automatically downloading new episodes of your favorite TV shows, and managing personal collections of Flash videos for end-users as well as dynamically delivering banner ads and increasing viewership through RSS for content publishers.

YouTube Offers AdSense Monetized Video Players

image 2007 was supposed to be the year of mobile content, but it’s shaping-up to be the year of the online video.

YouTube is rolling out a new AdSense enabled video player that can be embedded into any web site. After a slow start, Google’s making up for lost time with this second YouTube announcement in six weeks.

Just like the existing customized YouTube players, you can select which channels to show or let Google target the videos based on your site’s content. The ads appear to run at the top of the YouTube player, keeping them in view but not annoyingly so.

Not everyone will see the new AdSense options. Here’s the YouTube page for the custom player–if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll see the screen below:

Google Video Home to Pirates!

We didn’t mention it (too many bad scraper experiences, perhaps?), but last Wednesday was Talk Like a Pirate day. According to the National Legal and Policy Center, Google’s taking it a bit far:

Earlier this summer, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) researched the extent of copyrighted material being hosted on Google Video and released a “Top 50” list of apparently copyrighted movies. In the latest “spot check” of the site conducted from September 10 to September 18, NLPC discovered 300 additional instances of apparently copyrighted films, including over 60 movies released this year.

Additionally, the copyrighted videos have been viewed over 22 million times. The NLPC provided a list of the movies they found, as well as screenshots.

Hulu Setting Itself Up for Failure

There’s no other way to ensure your success than to tell everyone a month before your private beta launch that there will be failure in your new service. Announced last month, YouTube-rivaling will have failures, as George Kliavkoff, NBC Universal’s chief digital officer, told MediaPost (speaking at the Online Media, Marketing & Advertising conference Monday):

“The most important thing is to not be presumptuous about what’s going to work,” Kliavkoff said.

But to fail successfully, he added, you have to fail fast in order to quickly identify your errors and cut your losses. Success involves setting up “processes to fail fast,” he said.

Fox Goes Free on iTunes

Did NBC jump ship too soon? TechCrunch reports that now Fox will be offering their shows for free download via iTunes. The deal will feature season premiere episodes of Fox shows including Prison Break, Bones, American Dad and K-Ville—mostly returning shows. Fox hopes to expose more viewers to its shows.

Interestingly, the reason that NBC decided not to renew their agreement with iTunes was allegedly that they wanted more control over individual show pricing, rather than the standardized pricing that Apple enforced. However, it’s now obvious that, at least in select cases, Apple could set different prices.

Although NBC Direct‘s free episodes (with embedded ads) expire after seven days, Fox’s free episodes will expire after 14 days. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The LA Times writes:

TV Networks Networking Online

NBC isn’t the only one making moves online. ABC, CBS and MTV are also in the news today for their online strategies.

CBS, as reported by the LA Times, has turned its attention to creating communities for its shows on the site. Designed to allow fans of its shows to congregate and discuss the shows.

Adding a social aspect to its site seems like a good idea. It will help to increase visitors’ time on site, as well as show consumer loyalty for shows. However, I have seen community message boards like these become mostly a platform for people who hate the show in question, and expect the network to see and respond to their complaints. As long as it’s abundantly clear that the message boards are for discussing the shows with one another, it should work out at least moderately well for CBS.

NBC Shows Free for Download

No, it’s not iTunes, Hulu, Amazon or even BitTorrent. Soon you’ll be able to get your free fix of Heroes, Conan, and The Office—directly from NBC. Well, from their service, NBC Direct.

The ad-supported free content model is, of course, nothing new. In March, for example, CBS partnered with YouTube to provide free, ad-supported NCAA tourney clips. We reported:

In 2005, their subscription model pulled in $250,000. Not too shabby, but nothing compared to 2006, when they switched to a free, streaming, ad-based model: $4.5 million. That’s an 1800% increase.

Of course, there is a catch (or several). NBC Direct will only offer Windows-compatible files. The shows will be available as soon as they air (unlike their Amazon deal, which will offer season premieres in advance), but the digital files will expire seven days after airing. The advertising cannot be skipped.