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BizReport : Advertising archives : July 13, 2015

Billions of ads fail on mobile. Why? Flash.

iOS devices have never had native support for Flash, and Android has not supported it for the last few versions, yet according to a study published by open ad management firm Sizmek, many advertisers continue to use Flash for mobile ads.

by Helen Leggatt

Sizmek's analysis of more than 5 billion Flash impressions and more than 4 billion HTML5 impressions in the first quarter of this year found that 98.6% of Flash impressions defaulted to a static image instead of delivering the intended rich media experience. In comparison, just 8.3% of HTML5 ads defaulted.

It seems that advertisers are either not aware of the problems surrounding Flash on mobile or they are too lazy to care. But, says Andy Kahl, they should care because HTML5 ads outperformed Flash ads by 400%.

That's because when a Flash ad defaults it reverts to a single static image and, as such, attracts click-through rates akin to static banners which can be as low as .28%.

According to Kahl, "In most cases the advertiser ends up paying as if [a defaulted Flash ad] is a rich media campaign, so there is waste in terms of dollars spent".

Overall, Sizmek's 'Mobile Index Report' found that, during the first quarter of this year, 5.35 billion rich media ads "failed to serve correctly to mobile devices" and 36% of advertisers had above-average rates of default including 12% that never successfully served a rich media ad to a mobile device throughout the entire quarter.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, mobile, rich media

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