Unruly / Blog / Google Has Killed Flash – Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Google Has Killed Flash – Here’s Everything You Need To Know

With major browsers phasing out Flash in favour of JS VPAID (aka HTML5) and Google announcing Flash videos will no longer run through its DoubleClick suite of products after July 3, it’s fair to say the video ad tech industry is currently undergoing massive change.

Key takeaway here? Simply use JS VPAID wherever possible moving forward.

Now, if you’re thinking, I don’t use DBM. I’ll just find another DSP that accepts Flash creatives, it’s actually not that simple – for a number of reasons:

  1. More publishers than ever before are simply refusing to accept Flash-based creatives. It means there is less Flash-compatible publisher supply, which in turn leads to higher prices.  In addition, Flash makes the page load slower and isn’t compliant with IAB’s LEAN guidelines;
  2. Publishers think Flash presents a high risk as its security vulnerabilities have been repeatedly exploited by hackers, threatening not only users, but corporate & governmental bodies alike. In fact, according to the Center for Internet Security, Flash creatives present a “high” security risk for medium and large business entities.
  3. It’s expected that all browsers will opt to block Flash by default, as Google Chrome chose to do back in December. This means users would have to click “Allow Flash” when a Flash environment attempts to run on the page, which is both an unlikely and an unnatural user journey while browsing any websites.

At Unruly, we’ve already adapted all our formats to JS VPAID over Flash. But are you ready?

Well, we have come up with a few things to consider as the industry transitions from Flash to JS VPAID:

If you’re a publisher…

  • Do all of your video ad units support and accept JS VPAID? OK, that might sound obvious, but it’s the most important first step. As the buy side moves away from Flash, it’s important to make sure you’re not leaving any video impressions on the table because your site doesn’t support JS VPAID;
  • Are you prioritising JS VPAID over Flash when both are included in a creative? We’ve done significant research on behalf of some of our biggest publishers and have found that success rates for JS VPAID creatives are significantly higher than their Flash counterparts, leading to an increase in the amount of traffic that can be monetized.


If you’re a buyer…

  • Have you talked to your creative shop, ATD, DSP, viewability vendor etc (whoever generates and wraps your video files) to request that you’re now running in JS VPAID?
  • One of the biggest advantages coming your way is that you’ll be able to unify player functionality (including viewability tracking, interactivity, etc) across all devices that you want to target, but it’s important to remember that different devices have different use cases. For example, the creative for a vertical video might still need to be packaged differently than one that runs on desktop as it’s naturally experienced in different ways.

What to know more?