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BizReport : Internet : July 31, 2015

Brands: How to prepare for a non-Flash environment

Over the years there have been several calls for the death of Flash - and yet many websites continue to use Flash-based development. However, several online giants have announced they'll no longer support Flash, and that could mean the real death of Flash-based environments. Two experts weigh in on how brands can prepare.

by Kristina Knight

What happens if brands are suddenly Flash-less? Steven Lee believes there are several options open for brands who continue to use Flash - namely HTML5 and rich Javascript.

"It will certainly cause a nervous scramble at first among content developers (websites including those focused on gaming and ad creative agencies) to transition, but HTML5 and rich javascript -- which are native to browsers -- are more than capable of filling the void. Google did a lot to spur innovation in this area via its pioneering use of ajax (asynchronous javascript xml) in Gmail circa 2005, and it's continued to advance in the last decade," said Steven Lee, CTO, Tremor Video. "The web will be more efficient, stable, and safe without Flash. The migration has been happening for a while for many. For example, YouTube, which initially built its whole business on the back of Flash, stopped using it as the default player in January. But there are definitely developers that are going to be caught off-guard and there are people working overtime now because they've to yet make the switch."

In the short term, Lee says, consumers will be the most affected because they'll have to find browsers that still support the sites they visit that use Flash. But, in the long term, those sites will adapt. Brett Sanderson reminds us Flash is a tactic - and there are other options.

"This is a purely a tactical build technology choice - nothing about a campaign's strategy or creative content needs to change in order to build in HTML5," said Brett Sanderson, Product Marketing Manager, Sizmek. "If you have in-house creative developers, invest in growing their HTML5 skills and updating your QA processes. If you partner with creative agencies, encourage or require the switchover conversation."

What should brands still using Flash be doing right now?

"Find the smartest person they know on HTML5 and rich javascript, and get started on making the transition," said Lee. "Reach out to your partners and/or anyone you depend on to deliver your ads or content, and make sure they are making the same transition to an HTML5 and rich javascript environment. None of this affects brands' campaigns or content, just how it's delivered, so your partners must be fully transitioned."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, content, death of Flash, Flash advertising, Sizmek, Tremor Video

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