Adobe + Macromedia = Bonanza?

I remember that we were the first people on our block with a color television in 1968. Watching Bonanza and Walt Disney’s “The Wonderful World of Color” on Sunday night’s was amazing with our own color TV! Besides…we ended up watching a lot more TV when we could see it in color.

So what does that have to do with yesterday’s announcement of Adobe buying Macromedia?

There is a lot of conjecture about the strategic reasons Adobe bought them (competing with Microsoft is but one). I submit that *the* primary reason is the ubiquity of the Flash container and all that it means for video and the continuation of the drive toward on demand media consumption and a bonanza of profit to be gained from it. Let me outline a few thoughts:

  • As you can see from the post below, the video that is playing is done through a Flash player. My provider (Audioblog) lets me upload an .AVI video, they instantly encode it in to Flash, and allow me to publish it to my blog. The video aspect of the Flash container is but one key reason this deal got done. No more “choose Quicktime, Windows Media, Real Player” when you want to ensure that your users can play your content
  • Today Macromedia Inc. and Speedera Networks launched a secure delivery system for Internet video aimed at boosting pay-per-view video and other online subscription services. The kicker? Akamai recently acquired Speedera which will provide the technologies to deliver rich media in a way that allows content providers to get paid (leveraging Akamai’s robust, global edge network)
  • OK…the acquisition was not all about video. Rich Internet Applications (RIA) are gaining momentum and Macromedia is right there with Flex — though many of my alpha programmer pals would differ with RIA’s readiness for prime-time user interfaces (and are more interested in approaches such as Ajax). Still…there are competing offerings from Laszlo Systems and their open source alternative, Open Laszlo (which has been embraced by IBM), so it’s not just Microsoft that Adobe is positioning themselves against and Flash is the main reason for this deal in my view.

So how this acquisition is leveraged is going to be very, very interesting to watch.

UPDATE: Read “Adobe + Macromedia = PDF”


  1. Randy Vescelius on May 14, 2005 at 11:59 am

    I agree with you. This is a very compelling merger/acquisition. It will be interesting to see how they pull it off. The reality of acquisitions is often far short of the perceived vision. I think back so often on the potential of the acquisitions I have worked through in my career. While the technology made perfect sense to merge; the cultures were actually the antithesis of each other. The result was a squandered opportnunity and the erosion of each technicologies potential in the market. In the end, it isn’t the technology but the leadership.

    Hope you are well.


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About Steve Borsch

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.