IAB says all video ads should be HTML5 based by July 2017, issues transition guidance
New tools are forthcoming to help publishers and advertisers make the switch from Flash once and for all.
Along with transition guidelines, the Tech Lab released checklists for publishers and brands and agencies, with tailored suggestions for addressing the technical requirements and communication best practices for making the transition.
The Tech Lab is slated to release a VAST (video ad serving template) Validator and a JS VPAID (video player-ad interface definition) testing tool by January 2017. The aim is to gradually migrate over the first six months of 2017 to hit the July deadline. The IAB is deprecating all references to Flash in its technical standards and guidelines for VAST, VPAID, OpenRTB and Ad Format guidelines as of January 2017.
The shift from Flash, which poses security challenges and is hardly supported at all on mobile, has been several years in the making and accelerated this past year. A major nail in the Flash coffin: Google stopped accepting new Flash ads on June 30, 2016, and as of January 2, 2017, no Flash display ads will be eligible to run on Google’s ad networks and won’t be supported on Chrome.
Nearly all other major browsers have also announced limiting support for Flash. Mozilla has been cracking down on Flash use in its Firefox browser, and starting next year, Firefox will require users to click to activate the Flash plugin for any content. Microsoft started auto-pausing Flash content in ads and other non-central web content in its Edge browser in April and recommended that developers “fully transition away from Flash.”
In December 2015, Flash maker Adobe overhauled and rebranded its Flash Professional animation tool into Animate CC. The renamed product supports both Flash and HTML5.