With all the hype surrounding HTML5 over the last few years you would think that HTML5 video advertising and rich media ads would be widely adopted by now, but that's not quite the case. A whitepaper that Google released last month called Unlocking the HTML5 Opportunity: What's the Holdup? goes into some of the obstacles still in the way for the new standards. There's a considerable amount of hype surrounding the adoption of HMTL5 across the board but there are still barriers in place. Before we take a look at at some of the issues, let's remind ourselves what HTML5 is:
Unlocking the HTML5 Video Ad Opportunity: Barriers To Adoption
In the first quarter of 2013, 79% of all website traffic came from desktops with 11% from smartphones and 10% from tablets. Perhaps that helps explain why advertisers and publishers have been slower to adopt HTML5 when almost 80% of their audience are experiencing their Flash ads just fine. Until the traffic is more evenly split it makes it easier for the industry to keep using what their systems are built for without pushing forward with new technology. The Google report also talks about insufficient client demand as an obstacle to HTML5 adoption. I think there is actually some chicken and egg happening here. The clients aren't demanding it because they don't fully understand the options or the benefits. On the other side, the incentive isn't quite strong enough yet for the agencies and publishers to be pushing it forward. A last point that I've heard, which the Google report didn't mention, is the consistency of the creative delivery. When you create a Flash advertisement, that ad will look exactly the same on every computer and browser that has Flash installed. With the current HTML5/CSS3 standards that's not always the case. There will be slight differences that you need to account for in order to make sure that it will look right in each environment.
Having said all of this, the trend is still clearly heading in the direction of HTML5. The above graphic I found from Statista shows that global internet traffic from mobile was 17.4% as of August 2013, that's pretty rapid growth from 11% just a few months earlier. Creating experiences that can easily be translated across devices is a requirement. At the end of the Google report they say that 79% of creative agencies have been asked to develop creative that works across smartphones and tablets. It's time to start thinking about those experiences at the same level as the desktop experience to get ahead of the trend. You can read the full report at the link above or embedded below.