If you’re like me and have been counting down the days to when the bane of our online existence (also known as Adobe Flash) will just die and go away, while we may not have an exact date, we DO know that it WILL happen. According to the 2016 global media format report published by Encoding.com, Flash’s install base and use — which was 21 percent in 2014 — dwindled down to only making up six percent of mobile and web video in 2015, and believes that Flash will completely vanish within the next two years.
So that begs the question: which video codec will be replacing Flash? It’s likely that H.264, the leading video codec that makes up 72 percent of online videos, will helm that crown. H.264 has been around for 13 years, and a new generation of codecs are starting to pick up steam, like the royalty-free WebM (with 12 percent of the market), which is the leading HTML5 video delivery system for the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
There’s also the growing H.265, or HEVC, is the format The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) anointed as H.264’s successor, but only claims 6 percent of the market (likely due to paying royalty fees to the patent owners, unlike WebM). However, the fight for succession should be interesting as H.265 can reproduce content at half the bitrate as H.264, has support for Netflix’s 4K streaming and Apple’s FaceTime (at least on newer Apple devices) against the royalty-free WebM. PLACE YOUR BETS!!