What Does the Shift to HTML 5 Mean for Digital Ads

It’s finally happened.

Steve Jobs’ 2010 premonition that “New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too)” has come true – Adobe Flash, the mainstay of digital advertising for so long, is retiring from active service. It’s time to say goodbye and for HTML5 to take centre stage.

The shift from using Adobe Flash to HTML5 in digital ads has become a reality. Google Chrome devices no longer support it and iOS never has. The likes of Amazon and Facebook are switching to exclusively using HTML5 for promotional content, too. Many major mobile devices can’t support Flash, which is encouraging a major downward turn, and the other major browsers are expected to follow suit very soon – the final nails in Flash’s coffin.

It was actually Apple’s refusal to support Flash that led to the spread of HTML5, and many developers learning how to use it. It also assures Apple as ‘before their time’, as the rest of the industry makes the shift from Flash to HTML5 five years after Jobs’ prediction. Though in its infancy then, it’s now fully formed and ready to take its place as a plugin-free, graphically-rich digital ad platform in Flash’s stead.

But what will the shift from Flash to HTML5 mean for digital ads? In this article, we’ll try to answer that question in more detail, but for an overarching answer, let’s look to the guys at IAB:

“It will usher in a new era of media rich and responsive ad units that will be seamlessly served across devices, platforms and browsers.”


In an upgrade to their ‘HTML5 for Digital Advertising’ guide, IAB assert that the move to HTML5 is a necessity. Their Senior Vice President, Scott Cunnigham, said that: “The transition to HTML5 is paramount for improving user-experience online.”

“There is a reason that HTML5 has rapidly become the industry standard: It enables deeply immersive and responsive consumer marketing experiences that render gorgeously and easily across screens”

Business Wire

The first, and probably most significant, advantage of the move to using HTML5 for digital ads is security. HTML5 are working hard to respond to mal-advertising attacks on Yahoo and MSN, to avoid the infiltration of legitimate digital ad networks by malicious promos.

Another major advantage of HTML5 over Flash is its mobile performance. As browsing behaviour shifts dramatically in favour of mobile devices, it’s important that digital ads are designed to be mobile-friendly and capable of running on any machine. HTML5 renders multimedia content on any device – iPhone, Android, iPad, Microsoft, Surface – while Flash is not supported on all gadgets.

HTML5 is designed to create an ad-supported digital landscape, with faster ad load time and less clutter. Experts see this shift as digital ad technology coming of age, and adapting to meet the challenges of 2015. Are you looking for a developer with the skills to help you make the most of that shift? Let us help you find the niche large enterprise tech expertise you need.