HTML and CSS Reference
whopping US$3.4 billion. With Adobe's acquisition of Flash and its first company release of version 9, Flash had many
years of developer interest, installed user base, and platform development already. So Adobe continued to invest
heavily in Flash as the pinnacle way to develop and deploy rich Internet applications and advertising on the Web.
Flash Player Ubiquity
By version 9, the market that had the Flash Player installed was astounding. By June 2008, 98.4 percent had a Flash
Player version of 7 or higher installed. With these numbers, advertisers looked solely to the Flash platform for executing
their rich experiences on the Web. Not only did they leverage it within online advertising campaigns, but they also
realized the power in the platform for creating their branded web sites, landing pages, and other web properties.
Other plug-ins in the space—including Java applets and the newer Unity player—have never seen such high
penetration rates, which is why advertisers don't currently look to them as ideal platforms for far-reaching online
■ you can see the current flash player penetration rates here:
Flash Player Video
From this moment on, a lot changed on the Web; advertising, the days of thumbnail-sized videos, and video player
differences were now a thing of the past, thanks to Flash and faster machines. As of Flash Player version 6, released in
March 2002, video could be included from within the compiled Flash file (SWF) itself; as of version 8 it could support
streaming video content from servers. At a high level, this changed the way marketers and advertisers developed
online ads forever! Entertainment advertisers could now produce their movie trailers for the Web, and it could now be
watched even within an ad unit.
Video on the Web was and still is a huge topic. With more and more advertisers and people wanting web video
and with the technology finally up to speed, YouTube and other billion-dollar businesses were created. With dial-up
Internet access a distant memory and more and more people becoming users of broadband Internet and getting
download speeds of 10 to 30 megabytes per second and with enhancements to the Flash player as of version 10.2,
video could now be full-screen HD and offloaded to the GPU of the user's machine, which allowed for smoother
playback; meanwhile, the CPU was freed up to do things like resource allocation and code execution.
From a publisher's perspective, since video was being streamed into the ad unit, it came at no additional cost to
the overall k-weight size in the creative advertisements. Now advertisers could do more within the ad and not worry
about a poor user experience or even breaking specs. As HD video on the Web became the norm, companies like
Akamai created true streaming HD networks and delivery solutions for delivering and analyzing video performance.
Advertising with Flash
With the Flash Player reaching nearly 100 percent of all desktop machines in major markets, advertisers saw the
opportunity to create compelling and interactive rich media with full-motion graphics and dynamic data on a single
unified platform. Marketers were totally hooked; Flash was the answer to all the problems that had existed in previous
versions of HTML. With the evolution of the creative, tracking followed suit; growing much more sophisticated, it
proved a better return on investment (ROI) for advertisers and media buyers.
Ad-serving companies could track anything: a view, a rollover, even video milestones and completion rates.
Basically, if you could think of it, they'd track it. With Rich Media leveraging the Flash Player, metrics and creativity
soared to new levels. Flash allowed for deeper tracking and analytics integration with use of APIs. Flash's ActionScript
APIs were developed to provide communication with ad-serving platforms, which allowed for more integrated
tracking across campaigns.