Adobe wants to be next big Media Player

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Adobe is set to enter the online video arena today with the launch of Adobe Media Player, loaded with content from MTV Networks, CBS, Universal Music Group and others.

Although it joins a crowded market, the service has a built-in advantage as it uses the same Flash video format employed by Google's YouTube. It can be downloaded for free at www.adobe.com/go/mp.

The player will launch with current CBS shows "CSI: NY," "CSI: Miami" and "Big Brother" and older titles from the network, including "Star Trek," "Melrose Place," "Hawaii Five-O," "The Twilight Zone" and "MacGyver."

Viacom's MTV Networks will make "The Hills," news content and "Yo! MTV Raps" available on the platform. Additional content will come from MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1 and other MTVN brands during the next several months.

Absent are NBC Universal and News Corp., which recently launched their Hulu joint online video venture, and Disney, which for the most part employs a strategy of keeping its content on its own Web properties.

The player also will have shows from Scripps Networks' HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network and Fine Living Network. It also will carry PBS programming, UMG music videos and content from CondeNet.

The service, which started public trials last week, is drawing comparisons to Apple's iTunes and TiVo because users have the ability to subscribe to shows for free and watch them offline. The player also has a searchable catalog.

"It's a merger of TV Guide and DVR for Internet video content," said John Loiacono, senior vp creative solutions at Adobe.

The player also features monetization options for content companies that extend to offline, offering the ability to employ targeted advertising campaigns and customization options to match the player with different brands.

In addition, measurement options can track when and how a video has been watched. The service also includes safeguards against content piracy, including video DRM protection.

The Adobe Media Player is an Adobe AIR software application, which also must be downloaded.
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