Flash as an advertising medium has suffered a killing blow from Google and Mozilla, one that has left digital marketers scrambling toward building ads in HTML5 or with HTML5-friendly ad tech. For advertisers, it’s now not only inevitable but also immediate that HTML5 adoption is a must.
The news that rocked the advertising world came in June 2015: In order to extend laptop battery life, Google Chrome will “intelligently pause” Flash animations that aren’t central to the webpage. That’s a nice way of saying that Chrome is going to pause Flash advertisements.
Then on July 13, Mozilla one-upped Google, announcing that Firefox would immediately begin blocking all versions of Flash due to the discovery of three different ways to exploit the plug-in over a five day period.
A few days following Firefox’s action, Adobe quietly released patches to Flash’s vulnerabilities, restoring the plugin’s status in the Firefox browser.
UPDATE: Amazon has joined in on the anti-Flash momentum, saying it will no longer accept Flash ads on Amazon.com or Amazon Advertising Platform.
How bad is the impact of the Chrome and Firefox updates on Flash ads?
Google Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser, with a substantial lead in usage over other options like Safari and Internet Explorer. The change to penalize Flash ads is already live in the beta version of Chrome, and Google has stated it will roll out the update to the masses soon.
Once the update goes live, Chrome users will find their ads are grayed out, with little play buttons positioned in the center, as shown below.