YouTube drops Adobe for HTML 5 - Telegraph
Adobe's Flash has now been dropped by the world's biggest video streaming website in favour of the open standard HTML 5's <video> tag, as YouTube follows Netflix, Apple and Vimeo

The video streaming site YouTube has followed Netflix, Apple and Vimeo by dropping Adobe’s Flash entirely and started to use the HTML 5 <video> tag by default.

Gaining adoption by the world’s largest video website is a big coup for the open standard, which has reportedly now advanced sufficiently to gain backing from the Google-owned service.

Richard Leider, engineering manager at YouTube, wrote in a blog post: "Four years ago, we wrote about YouTube’s early support for the HTML5 <video> tag and how it performed compared to Flash.

"At the time, there were limitations that held it back from becoming our preferred platform for video delivery. Most critically, HTML5 lacked support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) that lets us show you more videos with less buffering."

Since then, though, the technology has come on in leaps and bounds. HTML 5 can now adapt to widening and narrowing bandwidths, enabling YouTube to cut buffering by as much as 80 per cent on heavily-congested networks.

"These advancements have benefitted not just YouTube’s community, but the entire industry," said Leider. "Other content providers like Netflix and Vimeo, as well as companies like Microsoft and Apple have embraced HTML5 and been key contributors to its success."

HTML is the language used to write websites. Previously video was not natively supported, necessitating the use of plug-ins like Adobe’s Flash. But since version five of HTML it has been possible to display videos natively within a website. Unlike the proprietary Flash, HTML is also an entirely open standard.