The new standard for online advertising companies is HTML5, as Google announced their Chrome browser will block digital ads that use Flash technology.
Flash has powered a large portion of online banner and video ads over the past 20 years, but Google says the format increases page-load speeds and device battery consumption, and generally degrades user experience.
As a result, the company will now “pause” Flash ads by default within its Chrome browser, meaning users will have to click on the ads to have them play.
Apple already chose not to support Flash on non-desktop devices, stating performance concerns.
As an alternative to Flash, Google suggests that advertisers use HTML5 online ads, which work across a wide range of devices and provides similar functionality to Flash but with more efficient performance.
Google offers tools to help advertising companies build ads in HTML5, and to convert Flash ads into HTML5 advertising. But other ad networks and technology providers may have to tweak their offerings to ensure online ads they sell and create are actually loaded into users’ browsers.
According to data from ad management technology company Sizmek, Chrome accounted for around 36% of Flash ads displayed during the first quarter of 2015.
The online advertising trade body the Interactive Advertising Bureau encouraged marketers to migrate to HTML5 with updated “Creative Guidelines.”
“HTML5 is the way forward, and that has become clearer and clearer,” said Scott Cunningham, senior vice president of technology and ad operations at IAB and general manager of the IAB Tech Lab, in a statement.
For its part, Adobe acknowledges that the future of online advertising will be powered by HTML5 instead of Flash, although it says there’s still work to be done to help the industry transition.