It’s been more than five years since Steve Jobs wrote his infamous “Thoughts on Flash” letter citing the high level of energy consumption, lack of performance on mobile and poor security as the reasons his company’s products would not support Adobe Flash technology.
Finally, it appears we’re getting closer to the curtain closing on Flash.
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When you consider the fact that Flash needs to be installed (as opposed to HTML5, which requires no installation), it’s easy to see why in the long term, it didn’t stand a chance. Some would argue that Apple’s refusal to ever support it should have been a sign of things to come.
However, it’s important to remember that Flash was developed in a time where the desktop was king.
The long load times it commands simply aren’t conducive to mobile environments — a deal-breaker for today’s mobile-first world.
Google’s Chrome desktop browser announced their formerly opt-in setting that pauses plug-in content that isn’t considered essential to the webpage will become a default setting by early September.
This means that if publishers don’t upgrade their format specification, some or all of their video content may no longer be available for people to view; this will certainly affect viewer loyalty and monetization efforts.
For example, Flash video ads served in a desktop Chrome browser will load in a paused state, then the user will have to click the ad for it to play.
The most crucial thing for publishers is going to be ensuring that their advertisers and demand partners (ad networks, ad exchanges and advertisers) are providing and hosting HTML5 ad creatives moving forward.
By switching their platform to HTML5, companies can improve supportability, development time will decrease and the duplicative efforts of supporting two code bases will be eliminated. It will also result in lower operating costs and a consistent user experience between desktop and mobile web.
A major concern for publishers today is the amount of media consumption that’s occurring in mobile environments. They need to prioritize providing the best possible experience on mobile, and the decline of Flash and movement to HTML5 will do just that, as Flash has never worked well on mobile.
Time spent on mobile devices is still climbing steadily; according to eMarketer, U.S. adults will spend more than 5.5 hours per day with digital media in 2015, the majority (2:51) of which will be spent on a mobile device.
A Flash-free world will be better for everyone. HTML5 is conducive to the direction media consumption is heading and will positively affect people’s digital-videoviewing (a primary concern for today’s digital publishers), creating a better overall Internet experience. It also takes less bandwidth than Flash to run, making it much more efficient for battery life on consumer’s devices.