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.
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