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Google continues Flash phase-out, begins pausing Flash ads

Time has been ticking for Flash for a while now. Apple has refused to run the plug-in based system for years, while both Google and Mozilla have begun gradual phase-outs. On top of long-standing concerns and sub-optimal performance, security holes brought the anti-Flash movement to a head this summer. One by one, major publishers – the New York Times, Conde Nast, Forbes, AOL – have come forward to urge advertisers to steer clear of Flash.

Starting today, Google will be pausing Flash ads by default to ensure better QoS for viewers, the same day that Amazon will do away with Flash ads entirely.

What does this mean for your video platform?

For the time being, these changes will not outright prevent your videos from playing. Chrome is beginning to block Flash plugins that do not meet certain quality and origin criteria, meaning that videos of a certain resolution (above 400 x 300 px) will not be affected. Google has put into place automatic conversion of Flash ads where possible, facilitating the transition.  Flash is not yet “dead” so to speak, but the trend is clear. As time goes on, it will be more and more difficult to reach the broadest video and advertising audiences possible in a Flash environment. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Android, iOS… the list of incompatible browsers and devices is growing.

If they have not done so already, platforms need to begin thinking seriously about migrating from Flash if they hope to ensure a seamless transition, keep their audiences and maintain steady ad revenues.

A newer technology that does more with fewer resources, HTML5 brings promise of better quality service, improved CPU performances and longer battery life for client devices – at a time when mobile video is exploding. Migrating to this lightweight, JavaScript based system will guarantee that broadcasters reach the broadest audience possible on any number of devices for years into the future. While converting Flash builds may seem daunting and time-intensive, many tools have become available to facilitate the task. Not the least of which, Google has provided extensive documentation and resources on how to make the switch (available at the link in the image below). Amazon, meanwhile, offers a list of best practices for advertising with HTML5.

At the leading edge of HTML5 adaptive streaming technology, we here at Streamroot have long believed that native streaming in the browser in HTML5 would be the future. We created the first MPEG-DASH peer-assisted video player in HTML5, and have optimized our peer-to-peer solution for HTML5 streaming. Today we are plug-and-play in popular (HTML5-optimized) video players such as JW Player and Dash.js. For more information about transitioning out of Flash or about our peer-accelerated video streaming solution, visit our website or contact us.

Google continues flash phase-out


3 thoughts on “Google continues Flash phase-out, begins pausing Flash ads”

  1. “Native”; certainly historically and in my opinion correctly does not include javascript implementations! Browsers should support streaming truly natively wherever a server supports byterange requests perhaps (the norm now).

    The benefits being developers adopting it because they know “ALL” users will have no issues or page reloads to simply play video (consider the popular noscript) and the lowest powered devices having the best chance of playing video. Developers also knowing streaming will work consistently. Browsers should ultimately be aiming to converge on the performance of video players. Javascript is a step in the opposite direction in this regard compared to for example a native browser implementation e.g. in faster and most importantly audited built-in languages like C.

    1. Hi Kevin!
      Indeed Javascript is not as fast as C or C++, but in the browsers, all the CPU-intensive actions, like the decoding the content with MSE, or decrypting it with EME, are done with native tools, often provided by the OS (ffmpeg, gstreamer for linux, custom C/C++ decoders for Windows, etc). So a javascript based player using MSE and EME APIs is actually more performant than the equivalent in Flash 🙂

  2. Pingback: Firefox 42.0 offers full support for Media Source Extensions

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