Youtube has nearly switched to HTML5 video as replacement of the outdated Adobe Flash Player, the company writes in a blog on their website. Four years ago, Youtube stated HTML5 was too immature to replace Flash. However the company found HTML5 has improved in such a way that it’s now the better option.
Users of Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8 or users of a beta version of Firefox will be now use the HTML5 player by default. Older and other browsers will continue to be served using the Flash based player for a while.
In the past also Apple turned against Flash on mobile, and therefore iOS devices are unable to display Flash content. Besides its usage in video players, Flash is also used for animations on websites. Currently Flash is the de facto standard for video, however with the move of Youtube that could end soon.
Youtube states HTML5 is now ready to replace Flash thanks to Media Source Extensions, the VP9 video codec and full-screen support. Media Source Extensions make it possible to load lower quality videos on slower connections which allows users to start the video without long loading times. According to Youtube this has decreased buffer times with 50%.
Support of the VP9 codec allows higher quality video while requiring less bandwidth. The result is videos that load faster and decreased bandwidth costs.