One of the biggest events in online video for 2010 involved the spread of video supported by HTML5 (meaning, plugins such as Flash are not needed to play video content). The movement was in part sparked by Steve Jobs’ announcement that iOS would not support Flash content (February 2010). So, over a year later, what is the true status of HTML5 supported video?

Well, a recent survey published by MeFeedia stated that over 60% of the video online is now supported by HTML5. This is a dramatic jump from reports of 10% a year ago. The survey does not identify the codecs used; however. More importantly, with YouTube adopting HTML5 content, I’m not quite sure what this number means – especially since YouTube serves up a ton of content (2010 reports had YouTube distributing over 40% of the online video content in the US). With one major player (and some of the others such as Vimeo) migrating to this format, I’m still left wondering what percentage of small/medium sized businesses are also making the effort to support HTML5. What about government agencies that are providing video content to the public?

On the other hand, I found an article which provided a different perspective on the reports listed by MeFeedia. This article had a headline that stated “Less than 1% of Websites Fully HTML5 Compatible.”

One of the major points in this article is that a majority of videos were h.264 which are compatible in both Flash and HTML5. So, the numbers can certainly be viewed differently in this case. In addition to this main point, the article provides a helpful breakdown on how the different browsers support different codecs.

Undoubtedly, the online video environment is becoming more complex and distributors need to weigh the cost/benefit of serving different formats. HTML5 is designed to provide more open standards, but at the moment, things are just getting more complicated. We will certainly be following this topic closely because it impacts the way many of our customers distribute their online video content.