LongTail Video State of HTML5 Video
  went through six key factors on how HTML5 Video is doing presently to give the industry an overhead look at how things are progressing or not. For example, Internet Explorer 6-8 have no HTML5 support and still account for 28% of the market. Chrome and Firefox do have HTML5 support obviously and account for 47% of the market thankfully. With that large portion of the market, total 32%, not supporting HTML5, Flash is still extremely relevant as a provider of web-based video.

In terms of codecs and formats, it’s a 50/50 split between MP4 and WebM. Chrome, Firefox and Opera support WebM while IE, Safari, iOS and Android support MP4 only. Odd that Android supports MP4 and not WebM but it’s due to a lack of hardware-based decoders in the devices whereas MP4 decoders are abundant. Chrome has been threatening to drop MP4 support totally and just support WebM but they haven’t pulled the trigger.

Video Tag Attributes

LongTail Video State of HTML5 Video looked at five tags: poster, preload, autoplay, loop and controls. Chrome, Safari and Opera are the only browsers that support all of them (this is all in addition to height, width and src). Android is the worst as it only supports poster and controls on occasion. According to their report:

The video controls on mobile devices differ greatly from those on desktop browsers:

  • On the iPad, controls are still quite similar, though there is no volume slider (volume is set with hardware buttons). As in Safari, there is a full screen button.
  • On the iPhone, only a round play button in the middle of the poster is shown. When clicking, the video starts playing full screen. When exiting full screen, the round play button appears again.
  • On Android 2.2, no controls are displayed. This means a video can only be started through custom controls built in JavaScript. Like the iPhone, playback is full screen only.
  • On Android 2.3, a control bar is displayed. The small play button must be clicked to trigger playback; clicking the poster does nothing. Though not as broken as Android 2.2, this is still a major UX issue.

Full screen playback is also currently in a state of catastrophe. Adaptive streaming isn’t better with just Safari and iOS devices supporting it.


Evidentially HTML5 is experiencing some problems and after the initial rush for online video platforms, services and content providers to support it, the browsers are still disagreeing.