Adobe’s secret e-reader weapon: Omniture analytics

Looking for a secret weapon in Adobe’s e-reader publishing technology? Think analytics.

Adobe still isn’t ready to lift the veil on all of the technologies behind its Digital Magazine Solution, which the company plans to release later this summer. We know that it includes Adobe’s InDesign CS5 publishing software, along with digital viewer and other technologies that transform InDesign files for use on iPad and, eventually, other e-readers.

What many overlooked in the initial announcement, however, are the integrated Omniture analytics that could provide publishers with new ways to measure audience engagement.

“One of our main goals is to enable magazine publishers to continue to have the direct relationship with the reader,” said Dave Dickson, Adobe’s product marketing manager for digital publishing. “These analytics are the bread and butter. We’ve seen other technology that doesn’t provide the visibility that we hope to provide.”

The move puts Adobe’s $1.8 billion acquisition of Omniture last fall into a new light. The built-in analytics will give publishers direct insight into how users are engaging with magazine content on an e-reader – their navigation through the magazine, which features they’re reading, how much of a video they watch, etc. Of course, those metrics will be able to measure engagement with the ads as well – hence Adobe’s reference to a “new advertising paradigm.”

“The analytic data will give publishers the ability to innovate around the business model,” said Dickson. “Advertisers will be able to create that same immersive experience for engaging with the ads as publishers can do with the content.”

Adobe has released a timeline for its e-reader technology. The first release, for the iPad, will be available this summer, followed by a cross-platform version in the fall. Both versions require Adobe’s InDesign software. Adobe also expects the technology to be integrated with existing editorial publishing systems such as VJoon K4 andWoodwing.

“The goal is to enable streamlined content production” for print and e-reader editions, Dickson said.

The technology will support embedded HTML5 controls for adding video, audio, slideshows and other interactive content. With its cross-platform versions, Adobe will also, of course, support its own Flash and AIR environments for creating rich Internet applications.

The Digital Magazine Solution is part of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Platform, which also includes the News Reader developers’ kit that Adobe is creating for newspaper publishers, along with new tools for e-book publishing.

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