Thinking About HTML5 Video? Most Browsers Play It, Says Report

Should your company be streaming video in HTML5 or Flash? While HTML5 has been buzzed about for over a year now, the conservative approach is to use both formats, so that customers will always be able to play your content. That may note be true for long, however. A recently released report by Longtail Video, home of the online video platform Bits on the Run, finds that roughly 74 percent of browsers now support HTML5 video. That includes data from desktop computers and mobile devices.

If that sounds low, consider that only three months before the number was 66 percent. The main reason now to offer Flash video is to support people using older versions of Internet Explorer (versions 6, 7, and 8). As every other major browser has adopted HTML5 support, that percentage will only rise when people upgrade their browsers.

Of course, once you’re sold on HTML5, you still need to choose a format. There are two big players here: MP4 (using the H.264 codec) and WebM. As the Longtail report notes, browser support is split 50/50, but that will soon change. Firefox will soon add MP4 support, giving a strong (and probably unbeatable edge) to MP4.

HTML5 video doesn’t yet have all the features of Flash, and it likely won’t for several years to come. The Longtail report notes that only half the browsers support fullscreen playback, an essential for a strong video experience.

Read The State of HTML5 Video for the full report.


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