The Data is in: HTML5 has Decimated Flash

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The Data is in: HTML5 has Decimated Flash

In July and August the news was dominated by fresh announcements that Flash would no longer be supported. After years of back and forth discussions on if the death of Flash was truly just around the corner, or if we’d see a repeat of false predictions about the death of e-mail and RSS, the industry hit critical mass and we finally got our answer when key players announced their discontinued support for Flash.


Flash was destined to die and HTML5 was set to ascend to the throne as king. But, the question on everyone’s lips was - how quickly can the industry adjust and is HTML5 ready? At the time we noted that this was a transition we’ve been actively preparing for over the past two years. Feedback for our free HTML5 Studio has been fantastic and we have a war chest full of exciting new HTML5, Mobile and Video centered tools which we’ll be adding to the mix by year end.  We’re currently seeing roughly 25% of new HTML5 ads created using our HTML5 Studio and expect that number to increase when we release version 2.0 later this year and add a powerful new video ad studio which will plug seamlessly into our HTML5 Studio.


Now, just two brief months later, the numbers are in and they tell a very clear story about the transition.  It won’t surprise any of you that Flash is dying off quickly.  But, what may surprise some of you, is just how quickly that transition has occurred. We’re not seeing Flash slowly fade out, we’re not seeing a moderate transition. We’re seeing Flash usage in freefall with Flash usage among agencies and advertisers plummeting virtually over-night. 


Monthly Banner Uploads


The above chart shows monthly banner uploads split by HTML5 and Flash on a volume basis.  When we adjust on a purely percentage basis, the data tells an interesting story.  Volume has remained high, indicating that there hasn’t been lost ad spend due to the transition and that contrary to some of the preliminary concerns spending has pivoted cleanly from Flash to HTML5.  This isn’t to say that some re-education and adjustment hasn’t been required, but the process has, overall, gone more smoothly and occurred more quickly than industry naysayers cautioned which is great news for publishers, advertisers and agencies alike.




It’s easy to see when major announcements were made and to track the gradual transition to HTML5 during April, May, June and July. But, as the story and incentives for the transition intensified in July we see the rapid abandonment of Flash matched by the strong adoption of HTML5.


HTML5 Adoption by Country


Beyond the aggregate figures, we pulled country-specific data for 16 markets. What you can see in the above graph is an insight into which markets were early movers in the adoption of HTML5 and which were laggards. The pivot in markets such as Italy, Spain and Estonia has been significant while markets such as Denmark and Norway experienced a more steady transition. In countries like Finland and Sweden you can see a high level of HTML5 adoption early on, but a dip. In looking into the dip, this was triggered by a number of large campaigns that were already committed earlier in the year, executed and completed in the period immediately before browser’s support for Flash was limited. As you can see, despite some variation, all markets have made a drastic shift since May 2015 to HTML5.


We’ve received very positive feedback about the full-coverage that our combined full-stack approach provides. For groups and situations who prefer a DIY option, HTML5 Studio has provided the ability to create both simple and complex ads in a quick and simple way. At the same time, for larger, more complex, or more bespoke executions our industry leading Brand Solutions team with their premium HTML5 build capability and high level of hands-on customer service has helped clients discover exciting new formats which were not previously available.


If you’d like to see our HTML5 Studio in action, you can watch the following recorded product demo. 



Eager to learn more about HTML5 Studio and our upcoming Video Studio? We’re hosting a free live demo with Q&A on November 3rd. Sign up here.


As always, if you’re more of a hands-on person, you can jump straight to the studio and start building immediately. The studio is always accessible directly via Looking to create a bespoke execution or want something more than our DIY option? Our industry leading Brand Solutions team is here to help.


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