According to Twitter, I had the same immediate reaction to the Adobe Omniture acquisition that just about everyone else had: WTF? How does this make sense. I immediately tweeted that. Ok next time, think before you tweet.
Adobe is more than Flash. Heck, before Adobe acquired Macromedia it wasn’t anything approaching Flash.
Don’t get me wrong, Flash is important. How much of online video is distributed via Flash? A significant majority I imagine. Flash is also used for interactive web pages and light gaming. Oh, it’s also developing into a desktop connected-application platform via Flex.
Integrating Omniture (or any other measurement technology) into Flash or Flex, what’s the difference? There largely isn’t one. And Flex desktop apps are proliferating. How valuable will it be for those developers/companies to have a solved, stable integration of analytics into those apps? And of course, since Flash serves SO MUCH of the video content online, how will Adobe’s acquisition apply pressure to the standards that are used to measure video?
Adobe has not one, but two development and publishing platforms (Dreamweaver (ok, who still uses Dreamweaver?) and Cold Fusion)
What if some of the components of Insight and/or Test & Target are integrated directly into Cold Fusion?
What about Shockwave/Director for rich gaming experiences?
In-game analytics don’t really exist, not on a large scale anyway. What if Adobe-ture can solve that?
And of course the standards: Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat.
Holy Crap! Adobe has an end-to-end services & platform suite for developing connected applications, web-sites etc.
With the addition of Omniture to the fold, Adobe can now add adjunct services to their platform.
- Basic Measurement (Site Catalyst), customized for specific environments
- Data Integration & Data Mining (via Discover, Insight, etc)
- Testing & Targeting via –wait for it- Test & Target
And don’t take “adjunct” the wrong way, we all know that the worst kept secret of online is better analysis and synthesis right? The data and the insight they drive are as important as the products/sites/apps that drive the data.
Once you step past the WTF moment, you start to realize that this may be less of an eBay-Skype thing and might just be more of a Google-Applied Semantics kind of thing. It will take careful execution of a well-thought out integration plan but it could be a very interesting play.
What if Adobe dusts off HBX (or offers a trimmed down version of Site Catalyst) for free to publishers (especially video publishers) in return for aggregated and anonymous video usage data? What if they push something like that through partners like BrightCove that provide video players to publishers?
Again, once you move past the shock and think about a bit, this acquisition might just make more sense than you thought, or at least the possible reasons for it begin to emerge.
What do you think? Why did Adobe do this? Why did Josh et. al. agree to it? Are the reasons above worthwhile? Are there other more important factors? Please leave a comment and let me know!
One last random thought, does this help Adobe in positioning against HTML 5? My understanding is limited but it seems to me that the HTML 5 standard is, in some ways, a direct shot at Flash.
BTW, Gary Angel over at SEMPhonic has a very thoughtful post on this deal