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Six reasons why Flash won't die

Heralding HTML 5 is premature, say analysts

Many are predicting Flash's days are numbered. However, we've rounded up six reasons why this may not be the case.

5. Flash remains popular with online advertisers

Flash is the entrenched technology most used by the online advertising community, and this fact could prevent or at least hinder widespread adoption of an alternative. Neither HTML nor any other technology has provided a compelling reason for advertisers to move away from Flash for traditional web ad delivery.

Flash will have a place in mobile advertising as well.

"Since Google is committing to support Flash [in Android], at least in the short-term, there should be ample opportunity for Flash advertisements on a wide range of mobile devices," says Rubin.

Despite that promise, advertisers don't want to give up on the attractive iPhone/iPad audience. They say there's an immediate need for a technology to conveniently and cheaply convert Flash ads to HTML 5 so they can be viewed on Apple's mobile devices. That's why web advertising design and development firms such as Greystripe are leading the charge to develop Flash-to-HTML 5 conversion technologies. The company's Lightning Technology converts Flash ads to iOS-friendly HTML 5.

Perhaps the most widely reported of these efforts is the open-source Smokescreen project. Developed by RevShock, a mobile ad start-up, Smokescreen shows promise in its initial form, but its performance doesn't match what users get with Flash content that runs natively. "Smokescreen exemplifies the immaturity of HTML 5," says Rubin.

Why don't advertisers simply develop in HTML 5 for mobile devices? Compared to traditional online advertising designed for computers, advertising distributed to mobile devices is still a relatively new and small market. Being able to develop ads in a single, familiar platform and simply convert them to HTML 5 will keep the cost of producing them low.

Bottom line: Even if iOS devices never directly support Flash, it may be the development platform of choice for ads for a long time to come.

NEXT PAGE: Video codec patent issues

  1. Heralding HTML 5 as the new web media king is premature
  2. Strong tools and support for developers
  3. Popularity with online advertisers
  4. Video codec patent issues
  5. Co-existence

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