Facebook, Google, and now the BBC, have all publicly announced their intention to reject Flash in favour of HTML5. But what is it about HTML5 that makes it such big news? We asked Tej Rekhi, AVP, Global Mobile Sales at Sizmek to explain.
Why is HTML5 a game-changer?
It's a game-changer because of its ability to deliver engaging creative across multiple screens. As interconnected devices continue to foster a cross-screen culture, consumers now expect to access content anywhere, at any time, using any device. HTML5 also enables advertisers to create a single campaign that reaches desktop, tablet and smartphone via one delivery mechanism. Last year, mobile advertising revenue hit $31.9 billion and it’s still growing. HTML5 is empowering advertisers to make a real impact in this lucrative marketplace.
What is the most exciting application of HTML5 in terms of driving the brand experience?
For me the most exciting element of HTML5 is its adaptability. Creative can now be manipulated depending on the screen orientation — making it fit perfectly to scale for each device. Orientation can also be pre-defined to match a specific screen or it can adjust instantly according to the physical location of the device.
This flexibility may not be the ‘wow’ factor of HTML5, but it is one of the simple draws of HTML5 that makes a big difference to brand experience.
How do creative agencies need to adapt?
Creative agencies need to learn how to develop ads with HTML5 in a cost and time effective way. The increasing adoption of HTML5 has flooded the industry with a myriad of tools to facilitate it, from open source, to those provided by third-party suppliers.
Agencies no longer have an excuse to avoid changing the way creative is designed, and it will soon be imperative to implement HTML5, as browsers including Apple’s Safari and Mozilla Firefox, make it increasingly difficult for ads designed in Flash to be viewed. Agencies must learn how to use HTML5, adapt to it and construct dynamic creative in the quickest and most impactful way possible.
What will HTML5 add to the programmatic market?
For programmatic, adaptive units will make a significant difference. Programmatic is all about fast delivery of impression-based advertising, so the ability to respond quickly and adapt each ad to suit the environment is vital.
Adaptive units will therefore be fundamental in the programmatic space to deliver the right creative, at the right scale and in real-time. The integrations between HTML5 creative platforms, DSPs and DMPs will also enhance the efficiency of the programmatic advertising process.
Less time will be spent on production, trafficking and reporting, while more time will be allocated to crafting compelling campaigns.
Does this mean Flash is redundant?
In it’s current form — yes. For a decade, Flash was the only way to run rich media on the Web, but it has long been limited by performance issues.
For users it slows down devices, exposes them to possible malware, and consumes battery power. For advertisers, the additional tools and plugins required to run Flash are cumbersome at best.
While Flash can be outputted into HTML5, this is only a partial fix to a much larger problem, and if the industry is to move forward, advertisers need to stop creating ads in Flash and using conversion tools. The digital landscape is changing quickly and advertisers need to start building in HTML5 from the get-go.