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HTML5 Explained

HTML5 is quickly emerging as the new standard for web content and digital advertising due to its flexibility and added functionality. Not to mention its good looks. But what exactly makes it so ‘de rigueur’ in the digital world and what should we know about it?

Here we’ll give you a HTML5 101 run down, with a top 5 need to know.
html 5

1.) What is HTML5 (in plain language)?

HTML5 is the latest version of HTML – the language of the web or formally known as Hypertext Markup Language.  In its’ most basic terms it’s an easily understood language that you can use to place content on-line. HTML5 standardises device capabilities and platform features. At the risk of sounding techy; it actually consists of three kinds of code: HTML, which provides the structure; Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which take care of presentation; and JavaScript, which makes things, happen.

2.) What is its USP?

HTML5 has been designed to deliver almost everything you’d want to do online without requiring additional software; such as browser plugins. It does everything from animation to apps, music to movies, and can also be used to build incredibly complicated applications that run in your browser. It’s also cross-platform, which means it doesn’t matter whether you’re using a tablet or a smartphone, a netbook, or a Smart TV, if your browser supports HTML5, it should work perfectly.

3.)  Why is cross device compatibility so important?

Over the past few years digital usage patterns have changed dramatically with the increase in smartphone (61%) and tablet (40%) penetration. Consumers are now accessing digital content across all kinds of devices, which has proved challenging in the past for developers. They need a universal platform to create content that can be synced across browsers and devices. HTML5 does exactly that.

4.) So what are the benefits for advertisers?

HTML5 offers a platform for designing beautiful and interactive creative that can run on all screens. It allows us to continue to create more engaging formats for smartphones and tablet, and as every advertiser knows, engagement is key! Other benefits include (but are not limited to): 

  • Ability to place ads within mobile and tablet devices
  • Ability to create more appealing and engaging ad designs 
  • Ability to develop more interactive ads 
  • Ability to traffic one ad creative across multiple distribution channels 
  • Decreases ad load time 
  • HTML5 creatives don’t require third-party plugins or special file types, making them compatible with most mobile devices, including iOS (which can’t handle Flash).
impact of html 5 on industry

5.) I'm sold! But is their a catch?

Although the demand for HTML5 formatted ads is increasing, it’s not yet standard practice as the advertising marketplace is slow to adopt, preferring flash ads instead. There are many reasons for this, one of which is that HTML5 offers rich design features and with that comes a need for a different skill set.

Designing ads with common ad design packaging tools like Flash is done using a visual platform but designing HTML5 ads relies heavily on code. This shift from visual design to code based design will increase companies’ operational overheads. These costs are then magnified with a lack of common framework for publishers and ad developers for HTML5. Until this framework is in place, companies will continue to adapt HTML5, whilst incurring the additional costs. IAB have noted that once there is a framework established for all involved this should greatly reduce the costs associated with HTML5.

Having said this, a trickle of sites have already made the welcome move to HTML5 as they see the overarching benefits and potential that this can bring. Spotify being an obvious example. Let’s hope this will inspire others to follow suit, and the extraordinary will become the norm.