The explosion of non-Flash devices is driving HTML 5 growth, Brightcove says

Video sharing site Brightcove is using the impending launch of the Apple iPad as a platform to talk up its support for HTML 5, the updated spec for the Web's core markup language which brings rich functionality to sites (such as video) without the need for third-party plug-ins like Adobe's Flash or Microsoft's Silverlight.

Earlier this year, Brightcove's bigger competitors YouTube and Vimeo announced they were experimenting with HTML 5, but both warned that not everyone would be able to see videos unless they had a compatible browser. Vimeo, for example, said 90% of its videos would work in HTML 5-compatible browsers, but only 20% of viewers would be using one.

Flash remains the most ubiquitous vehicle for video delivery today, and is likely to remain deeply entrenched as a necessary plug-in for PC Web browsers.

Brightcove's founder and CEO, Jeremy Allaire referred to this as "runtime hegemony," and sees the mobile world as an opportunity to break out of it.

So the video site has launched "The Brightcove Experience for HTML5," a framework for publishing HTML 5 videos and advertisements aimed at companies and marketers looking to make an iPad-ready site.

"Our customers want to be able to deliver their video content to every screen without sacrificing the quality, interactivity and monetization capabilities they have come to expect from the Brightcove platform," Allaire said in a statement. "The Brightcove Experience for HTML 5 fills the gap between the current playback capabilities of the emerging standard and what our customers need to operate successful online video businesses."

This solution has already been used to produce the iPad-formatted New York Times Web site.

"The ubiquitous Flash Platform technology stack...has allowed us to reach 99% of the world's Internet connected computers with a consistent video experience that just works," Allaire wrote in the Brightcove blog yesterday. "Now we have seen the incredibly broad adoption of devices such as the iPhone (and soon the iPad) that do not support Flash, but do support the HTML 5 standard. Many device platforms have pledged to support Flash video, but the adoption of non-Flash devices is expected to be broad enough that many publishers are worried that they will be missing a substantial audience if they rely exclusively on a Flash-only strategy. That is driving publishers to look for ways to deliver an equivalent video experience to what they can offer with Flash, but implemented using the HTML 5 standard."

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