Earlier this month marked an important milestone for the ad tech industry – right before the 4th of July holiday, on July 3, Google discontinued enabling Flash video ads to run through DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, DoubleClick for Publishers or AdWords. Additionally, Google’s Active View and Verification tools for video will no longer use Flash.
For the past several months, rich media ad servers have been well on their way to fully retiring Flash. On the video side, though, publishers and supporting technologies like verification vendors have required additional time to make the migration. At this point, most supporting technologies have made the switch, and, in fact, most publishers (a full list is below) have as well.
According to our data, the volume of HTML5 video ads has now surpassed the volume in Flash – by quite a bit. In fact, the growth of HTML5 has been exponential over the past six months: Innovid’s advanced creative inventory went from 12.1 percent in January to a whopping 55 percent in June – a 4.5x increase!
One of our clients, Universal McCann Detroit, has been navigating this transition successfully over the past couple of months. Huascar Peralta, SVP, Director of Decision Sciences & Digital Ad Operations at UM Detroit, says: “As we’ve migrated our Flash video inventory to HTML5, Innovid has played a key role in supporting our HTML5 VPAID ads and campaigns. Partners like Innovid are truly leading this Flash to HTML5 transition by offering solutions that protect against fraud and off-brand content across all major publishers.”
As the deadline became reality last week, it was the perfect time for Innovid to publish its top 5 tips for embracing the Flash to HTML5 transition:
- Don't wait!
Search and find a reliable video player that fits your needs. Currently, there are quite a few to choose from in the market, and choosing the right one makes a world of difference. At Innovid, we recommend Brightcove or JWT versus building a video player in-house. It is better to act now and to be prepared rather than wait until an imminent campaign requires it. Make sure the player is built for VPAID 2.0 specifications as well – this will save time with future certifications.
- Install and implement early…and certify with your partners. This is critical because certain partners, such as Innovid, require players to follow IAB specifications.
- Test with sample campaigns. It is better to identify potential issues when fulfillment is not on the line.
- Check in to make sure your partners are ready. DSP/Exchange/Network/SSPs should make sure their partners are also prepared to run HTML VPAID. We’ve had some publishers contact us about getting certified, but then they run through a handful of "inventory sources" that aren't compliant or certified to run HTML VPAID.
- Make a full transition and not a partial transition. In other words, don't plan to use a hybrid Flash/HTML tag – instead, just transition fully to HTML from the get-go. Since some of the hybrid players are not so reliable, making the full transition will save some headaches when it comes to hybrid tag issues. This will also save development time, since you won't be implementing a temporary player to get by until you are ready to make the full jump.
Complex Media Network
Primia Digital / Orange Advertising Network
Spotify USA, Inc.
Vox Media, Inc.
Good luck to all of us during this stage of the transition. We’d love to hear from you on how you are navigating these or if you have any questions for the Innovid team please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org