The 'Flashpocalypse' Is Upon Us, And It Brings Programmatic Cross-Screen Closer To Reality

Today -- Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 -- marks the “Flashpocalypse.” Google’s Chrome has begun blocking ads using flash, pushing advertisers toward HTLM5 which can work across a wider range of devices, including mobile.

Naturally, my inbox has blown up with Flash-focused stories, so I’m beginning to think “Flashpocalypse” refers not to the death of flash advertising, but to the death of an inbox by a thousand pitches.

A handful of ad servers -- including Jivox -- have updated their platforms to support HTLM5, and other ad tech companies are planning similar announcements in the near future.

Here are thoughts from Aaron Wood, director of production services for AOL premium experiences at AOL Platforms: “We should see a more consistent, elegant, and content-rich movement in ad creative onward. The same creative unit, through a single implementation, can be made adaptive and will reach users, with consistency around content and UI elements, across screens and channels.”

That’s actually the vision of programmatic advertisers -- cross-screen, cross-channel ad campaigns with flexible creative. So how soon will this come to fruition?

According to Wood, there will be a two-year vesting period before the industry reaps the benefits of an HTML5-focused digital ad world.

“As browsers are dropping or altering their support for Flash, the change is certainly stimulated,” Wood said. “The conversation has definitely shifted from 'should' to 'when' and HTML5 is the clear alternative. The added trend of more video content players moving to HTML probably means that by 2017, we'll have very strong adoption of the technology.”

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