Some people are choosing to view the discussion around Flash and iPhones/iPads as Apple versus Adobe. I think a better perspective simply centers on open web standards, improving technology and what is best for content distribution/use.
Many consumer electronics and internet features taken for granted today, were adopted and advanced by the porn industry. The success of VHS over Betamax was felt to be due in part to porn video being widely available on VHS, but rare on Beta. Not too long ago PC World had a feature article on 12 ways that the adult entertainment industry changed the internet. Among the top three positive innovations is listed the early use and improvement of streaming content or video. And following some patent infringement lawsuits in the early 2000’s, adult online content providers adopted Flash in a very big and almost universal way. It was a good way for them to distribute content in a widely accessable format. That was then.
This week one the largest producers of online porn says his firm is leaving Flash and adopting the HTML5 video standard ASAP. In a recent discussion with ConceivablyTech, Ali Joone of Digital Playground had this to say about his company’s view of the future of Flash and HTML5
Not surprisingly, while many of us are still trying to figure out which way we should go, Joone has already a clear direction for his company: “HTML 5 is the future,” he said. For Joone, it is a simple matter of exposure why HTML 5 will win over Flash.
More than two years ago, he began offering content for the iPhone. Since Apple does not allow pornographic content in its App Store and since Safari does not run Flash, DP began taking the HTML 5 route. DP’s HTML 5 streams for mobile devices have been available for more than a year now. Joone said that he is following the Flash integration in Android, but he indicated that it is rather irrelevant to him whether Android will support Flash or not: “Mobile browsers run HTML 5 very well. Flash brings everything to a crawl and has an impact on battery life. With HTML 5, there is no reason to show our content in Flash.”
DP is still publishing content in Flash online, since desktop browsers, especially IE8, aren’t ready for HTML 5 yet. “We are waiting for browsers to catch up. As soon as they are ready, we will move everything to HTML 5,” Joone said. He noted that he was grateful for what Flash has delivered, but said that it was “just a matter of time” until Flash disappears. “It’s the next passing of the torch.”
As the “format wars” have shown from 78’s to 8 tracks to Beta to Laser Disks to HD DVD, … content rules. If there is no compelling content reason to install Flash I expect that in the future fewer and fewer PC and similar devices will install a proprietary closed soneuare add-on to view Flash content or websites. Just a thought to consider when investing your time and money in a website format, what do you think will be the future of Flash. Which did you think would win; Beta or VHS, HD DVD or BluRay?