TVNZ expanding on-demand platform

Adobe Flash delivers on-demand content in world first

TVNZ is the first commercial broadcaster in the world to deliver on-demand content to the Playstation 3, using the Adobe Flash platform family.

“We are a small broadcaster, but we saw the types of things we wanted to do and Adobe assisted with some development funding,” says Tom Cotter, TVNZ general manager content and delivery digital media.

“Flash makes up the core back-end of the digital content for TVNZ on demand.

“We would see the changes in the technology, and new customer expectations.”

To that end, TVNZ is delivering half-a-million unique browsers a month, which Cotter says is the equivalent of 60 years of linear viewing per month.

It is funded by advertising, so successfully, in fact, that TVNZ has sold out at the moment, he says.

“The demand is certainly there, as is the value proposition.”

He says TVNZ chose Adobe because it was available on so many devices.

“Their road map is driven to security, reducing costs and improving quality. The only fly in the ointment is the iPad and iPhone [Apple refuses to use Adobe] but iPad penetration is relatively small. There is not a large enough market to justify investment in a whole new platform.

“There were other opportunities, but Flash is by far the dominant platform.”

He says, for example, Microsoft’s Silverlight doesn’t have enough penetration and is too much of a barrier for customers.

US market research company Frank N Magid Associates says 50 percent of internet users in the US now watch online video weekly or more frequently.

TVNZ is using Adobe’s Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) to deliver its video content.

“We can pioneer some of OSMF for Adobe,” says Cotter, referring to the Adobe funding. “They see us as an innovator.”

OSMF reduces the complexity of video player development and allows the developer to customise the player for the browser, incorporating plug-ins for advertising, reporting and content delivery.

Cotter says it reduces TVNZ’s costs and overhead.

“We are looking to deliver in a successful and sustainable manner anything, anywhere, anytime on any device,” he says.

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