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HTML5 Supported Video Formats Now Dominate The Web

H.264 is the go-to delivery codec for video.

By Daniel Rowinski

2015 was the beginning of the total death spiral for Flash, the longtime default standard for rich media delivery on the Web.

Flash has gradually been declining for years, ever since the late Steve Jobs gave it a death sentence by banishing it from the iPhone and besmirching its reputation among developers in 2010. But in 2015, a series of events finally led Adobe to seriously address the issues with Flash and eventually focus on its successor, HTML5 video delivery.

First, spyware firm The Hacking Team was, ironically, hacked. It turned out that The Hacking Team’s primary avenue of exploiting targets was through Flash. The CTO of Facebook then pronounced Flash a major liability and called for Adobe to sunset the plugin. The point was driven home when Flash-based malware infiltrated Yahoo’s ad network. Google and Mozilla both limited Flash through the Chrome and Firefox browsers The Web’s major players—technology companies and advertisers—then banded together to support HTML5 over Flash as companies like Amazon banned Flash ads from its network entirely.

Facebook, the one of the two most influential standard bearers of the Web, finally ditched Flash for HTML5 for video in its News Feed.



Adobe eventually got the point and rebranded its Flash Pro media creation tool toAnimate CC with a focus on HTML5 (while still supporting some Flash functions, especially for games).

What was the result of all of the body blows for Flash? A big dip in usage and marginalization in the video space.
According to’s report, Flash fell from delivery of over a fifth of Web video (21%) all the way to 6%.
“We expect to see the Flash video codec disappear completely from our report with 24 months,” stated.
HTML5-supported codecs further cemented their place as the new standards in video delivery. H.264 rose to 72% of all video delivery while WebM was in second place at 12%.


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