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Adobe's "Philo" - branded Internet TV and some possible competition for Joost

Earlier this week Ryan Taylor posted some information on "Philo" an Adobe project that aims to make a splash in the Internet TV space. Since it was first talked about back in October a couple of things have happened to make this more interesting. One, development on Apollo has been going full speed ahead and the Philo team has probably been working closely with the Apollo. The other is that Joost launched in a limited private beta and got a lot of buzz from the tech world. Internet TV is big, and it looks like Adobe is jumping in head first.
Written by Ryan Stewart, Contributor

Adobe's "Philo" project has been around for a while but it seems to be gaining some momentum lately. Back in October, at Adobe's MAX conference, we saw a short demo of Philo by Kevin Lynch at the keynote. Jeremy Geelan had this to say about the Philo demo at the keynote:

Lynch closed with an Internet TV application being developed in-house at Adobe, called "Philo." If anyone had any doubt that Flash video is at the center of the Adobe vision for 2007-8 and beyond, Lynch's slick demo will have without a doubt showed them that it will be.

However, after the keynote Philo kind of went dark and I hadn't heard much about it. But today I got a link to Ryan Taylor's blog from Owen van Dijk. It sounds like Ryan is going to get a demo of Philo sometime this month and the project sounds like it has gelled a little bit more:

Now enter Adobe’s ‘Philo’ project. Philo is an internet TV application of sorts. It consumes RSS feeds from video sites such as Google Video, YouTube, MTV, etc. You are able to watch the videos and interact with content as you would on the actual websites themselves, however the application is also reskinned, or “branded” if you will, to the site/brand that the content is being delivered from. Suddenly, you have a miny TV application in which you can switch between internet video sites quickly and easily just like flipping the channel on the TV. It’s a brilliant idea and it has a lot of potential.

From that description, it sounds like Adobe is making a big move into the increasingly crowded internet TV space. If they use Apollo, which is what I would expect, then "Philo" might be a direct competitor to Joost. Joost got a lot of attention from people like Om Malik and Mike Arrington. If Philo can generate that kind of buzz, it will be good for Adobe but maybe not so good for some of Adobe's partners. I'm unclear on how this might affect prominent Adobe customers like Brightcove.

Adobe is clearly looking to move up the value chain by not only empowering developers to create applications on their technologies but actually create content themselves. We saw this a bit with Digital Editions and "Philo" seems to up the ante. Internet TV is obviously a huge deal, so if Adobe is going to play, they've got to come in ready to compete.

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