Give Adobe credit: While it’s still trying to make a version of its Flash software that is acceptable for tablets and smartphones, it’s also preparing for a digital publishing future that may not revolve around Flash.
Adobe’s latest move is to integrate Medialets’ advertising platform into its Digital Publishing Suite for iPad and tablet publishers. (Medialets is a mobile/rich media ad startup in New York.)
Medialets’ ad technology does not use Flash, but does work on the iPad, Android devices, the forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook, etc.
While it has taken Adobe a while to make this sort of move, it’s ultimately smart. Adobe’s core business is selling software tools and services to publishers, whether it’s Flash, this Digital Publishing Suite, Photoshop, Omniture analytics, or whatever.
Adobe should aim to support whatever the market dictates, as well as it can, whether it’s an Adobe-owned platform or not. And that’s what it seems to be doing here.
This new integration with Medialets could help publishers generate ad revenue from their Adobe-produced iPad and tablet content. (It includes Medialets’ back-end ad server, not just its multimedia ad creative format. To be fair, that would be useful with or without Flash.)
And that, in turn, should help publishers embrace Adobe tools and services — and pay lots of money for them — as opposed to shopping with the competition or building their own.
If this works out, don’t be surprised to see Adobe as a potential acquirer for Medialets.
Background: While Adobe’s Flash technology is the leader for web video, animation, and rich media advertising, it has not repeated its success on smartphones or tablets. Part of that is because Adobe has failed to make a version of Flash that is good enough to run on smaller devices without eating up half the battery. And part of that is because Apple — the tablet market leader, and one of the smartphone leaders — has refused to allow Flash on its devices.