It should really come as no surprise but Adobe has pulled the plug on yet another well conceived but terribly supported concept with the death of their Adobe Media Player. The idea landed in the right timing window before sites like Hulu.com caught on but the service rarely had any content beyond short clips or shows no one wants to watch. After watching it stagger around for far too long I kept waiting for Adobe to do something with it and try to put an advertising or content model in place that would give it a chance. They are now putting their efforts into their new Flash based Strobe media framework which is supposed to enable the creation and delivery of high-quality, monetized video experiences. In plain English it means they are trying to develop an open framework where you can do things like advertising insertion, content delivery and syndication, micropayments, viewer authentication, transaction handling, and business model controls. They have coupled this delivery solution with the formation of the Open Screen Project where they have partnered with more than 20 content and technology partners to try to create a more standardized content delivery system across televisions, personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics.
The reality is that Microsoft has been able to conquest a large amount of real estate in the browser video player market thanks to their deals with Netflix and NBC for the Olympics where they put this sought after content in their player they have been able to drive significant install penetration. Strobe is obviously trying to fight the avenues that Microsoft can use to spread Silverlight through their computer and mobile operating systems as well as gaming and consumer electronics channels. Also while you would recognize the names of their partners like the BBC, Intel, LG, NBC and Verizon but the missing names of companies are what worries that might just be Media Player 2.0. As with everything Adobe does outside of their core software offering only time will tell if they are really willing to invest the time and money it will take to get to a standardized Flash based system where you could easily deliver and monetize content across multiple technology touch points.