Chrome Will Block Flash Ads Starting September 1, 2015

Google Chrome will Block Flash ads beginning September 1,2015

Announced first in June, Chrome will begin pausing many Flash ads by default to improve performance for users.

How will this look like on Chrome?

It’s actually very simple. What users will see is a “play” button on top of the ads that use flash, which will appear grayed out. Below is a screenshot of a page with two flash ads blocked (in red box).

screenshot of ads with flash blocked

How big will its impact be?

The blocking of Flash ads will have a significant impact. Consider the following data:

1) More than 90% of rich media ads use flash. These ads are animated or ads that change when a user’s mouse pointer passes over them on desktop, says Sizmek. It’s implication is, if the ad industry does not take action, the majority of ads being served in Chrome will not work properly.

2) More than half (51.74%) of internet users use Chrome on their desktop, tablet and console based on StatCounter.

StatCounter-browser-data-July 2014 to July 2015

With these, date, you can’t underestimate the impact of this September 1, Google Chrome update.

How will this affect the ad tech industry?

“Every single company” in the ad tech industry will be affected by the switch, from supply-side to demand-side, according to the chief technology officer of video ad network Virool.

Not everybody is ready for it

“On September 1st, the market will go haywire as supply significantly drops. The most complicated piece here is that there will still be some inventory available to Flash-based content. These are premium placements that are generally full-screen. However, after September 1st the available Flash-based, premium inventory will significantly drop causing the price to dramatically go up. As the tech provider, we will still accept Flash-based creative from our clients however there will be less inventory available that will support it,” said Vlad Gurgov.

3 things you can do

1) Migrate from Flash to HTML5. This guide on HTML5 for Digital Advertising will come in handy.
2) Watch your ad’s file size. HTML5 ads may look more beautiful, and may be more secure, but the file size can be much larger than Flash.

Bottom line, the news that Chrome will block flash ads has the purpose of improving the user experience. Adjusting to that, in the long run, will benefit advertisers and ad tech companies as well.

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