Adobe adds HTML5 support to Primetime DRM

Adobe also made Primetime DRM available on apps without a Flash Player plugin, representing a shift away from its Flash-player approach in favor of using emerging HTML5 extensions that support video embedded directly into Web pages.

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Adobe Systems has made some upgrades to its Primetime Digital Rights Management platform that the software vendor said will bring its content protection service into the world of browser-based video.

Adobe announced Primetime DRM is now available on apps without a Flash Player plugin, as well as via HTML5 on major Web browsers. The changes are significant as they represent Adobe's shift away from its Flash-player approach in favor of using emerging HTML5 extensions that support video embedded directly into Web pages.

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DRM and other content protection services are necessary to bring licensed content to devices, mainly because companies that distribute content want other companies to agree to protect that content and keep it secure. Prior to HTML5, companies wanting to restrict the illegal copying, saving or sharing of videos had to seek tools outside of the browser.

But the industry has been migrating toward browser-based video technology because of security concerns over browser plugins, increasingly complex Web standards, and of course the Apple/Flash conflict – and Adobe obviously wants to keep up with the trend.

Adobe points out that it is now the only non-browser vendor that offers cross-platform DRM, meaning that content owners have access to the same levels of protection regardless of the browser or OS used by content viewers.

But for now, Adobe's HTML5 video approach works only with Firefox. Adobe said that it has made a deal with Mozilla to enable DRM on Firefox, with Netflix signed up as the first customer to use DRM with HTML5 within the Firefox browser.

Adobe also announced that it's working with key chipmakers Intel, AMD and Broadcom to add copy protection directly within device hardware, which Ashley Still, the senior director of product management for Adobe Primetime, said could facilitate the streaming of high-resolution 4K or Ultra HD video. 

Still noted that the changes are totally transparent to consumers and have zero impact on the user experience, other than the fact that they will have the ability to watch premium, copy-protected video from a single browser instead of on a mess of video applications. 

"We want content to flow everywhere consumers are, whether that's in a browser, an app or on a mobile device," Still said. "So this represents another endpoint to where premium content can be distributed." 

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