Lots of Flash Use Among Premium Content Sites

I was performing some research for my upcoming workshop at Streaming Media East (W4 – Encoding 2017: Codecs & Packaging for PCs, Mobile & OTT/STB/Smart TVs). Basically, I wanted to see how many of the larger advertising-supported websites like ESPN/CNN had transitioned over from Flash to HTML5. Last time I checked, few if any had, largely because ads weren’t yet widely available for HTML5. Well, as you can see below, things have changed.


This was the first time I’ve seen serious adoption of HTML5 in this class of publisher, though obviously there are still some Flash holdouts, including CNN above. Note that to test these sites, I loaded the site on my Mac Pro using the latest version of Chrome. Below is a list of my findings with links to the URL that I tested.

ABC – HTML5 for ads, maybe video as well (not sure)

CBS – Flash

CNN – Flash for live (couldn’t tell for VOD)

Eonline – couldn’t tell – appears to be HTML5

ESPN – HTML5 (live and VOD)

Fox News – HTML5 – Akamai HTML5

MSNBC – Flash, the Platform

NBC – couldn’t tell

NY Times – couldn’t tell.

USA Network – ads in Flash, couldn’t tell for video

Washington Post – appears to be HTML5, JW Player

WSJ – appears to be Flash

By my count, of the ones I was sure of, it’s Flash over HTML5, 3:2. It appears that several other sites were still using HTML5, if only for ads.

While Flash is undoubtedly dying, rumors of its … well, you know the rest.

About Jan Ozer

I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks, and evaluate new encoders and codecs.

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