2014 Video Production Survey: HTML5 Video and Video Encoding Preferences

According to recently released Online Video Production Survey and Trends Report, it is challenging for video professionals to adapt to ever changing video format and codec trends, particularly where HTML5 video is concerned. Video professionals need to consider the many types of devices online video viewers now use to access and view video such as the larger, touch screen hand held devices that are becoming more common. Tablets, laptops, Kindles and Smartphones may be more compatible with some video formats than others.  The most popular video file formats according to survey respondents are H.264/MP4 (60%), Apple’s .MOV (53%) , Adobe Flash (44%), HTML5 (39%), and Windows Media .WMV (37%).

It is notable that while Flash was slightly more popular than HTML5 for video encoding among industry professionals when the survey was done in 2013, it is clear that HTML5 video will be the standard for video displayed on hand held devices in 2014 and beyond. HTML5 video has been shown to run content 58% faster than Flash video formats and is compatible on more device types than Flimp video.  HTML5 also is preferred for Linux and Mac OS X as well as streaming on mobile devices and laptops. In addition, screens are not compatible with Flash but they are compatible with HTML5.

HTML5 Video file types, formats, codec

What specific formats, video file typs, or codecs to you currently use?

The variety of Web browsers and multiple versions of Web browsers also complicate video codec compatibility. Video marketing professionals, videographers and others should aim to make the consumption of their video content as easy as possible. Enabling broad audiences to use many types of devices, operating systems and web browsers to access video will provide a quality viewing experience. Video hosting and streaming vendors have taken to having video producers and video marketers upload their videos once and then generate multiple delivery rates and file types that will accommodate a wide range of variables.

Number of Video File Formats and Codecs Used For Each Video

According the 2014 Video Production Trends Report, 39 percent of video professionals encode their video content into two to four video formats, bit rates, or file types according to the survey. Three percent encode video content into 11 or more video formats and delivery rates. Keeping video uploading and delivery simple for customers is the goal for video hosting vendors.

Online video platforms are used by twelve percent of respondents to create the required video file format. As video file formats are becoming more standardized and automated, video professionals are using fewer video file formats, as shown in the chart below.

HTML5 Video formats, file types, codecs

How many different formats, file types, or codecs do you use?

Formatting Videos for Various Types of Internet Viewing Devices

The most targeted viewing device by video professionals and marketers are Laptops and PCs, with 95 percent of formatted videos to be viewed on those devices. Video professionals are formatting Seventy-four percent of videos for iPhones and iPads. 70 percent of those surveyed format their video content for Android mobile devices. 27 percent are encoding video for internet connected TV’s. Other tablet-like devices such as Kindle Fire and B&N Nook are being targeted by 27 percent of those asked. Serving online video in a range of formats for many viewing devices will continue to be a challenge for the video production industry.

Video device types

What types of devices do you encode videos for?

Some of the issues encountered by video professionals when encoding videos include deciding on the proper video formats to use, choosing how many video formats to use, and selecting which video viewing devices to target. However, given the opinions of leading industry professionals, it is becoming less difficult to decide on which options are best since universal formats like MP4 and HTML 5 video are quickly becoming the norm for online video marketing and communications.

Wayne Wall is Executive Director of the Web Video Marketing Council.  He can be reached at wwall@flimp.net.