The New York Times’ video player is going Flash-free

The growing list of companies moving away from Flash has another item: The New York Times. The newspaper announced today that it’s killed Flash support for its in-house video player, VHS. Instead, it’s switching exclusively to HTML5 video.

“As we saw the industry move toward HTML5 video, we knew we wanted to get ahead of it. The browsers blocking Flash really hastened our efforts,” wrote New York Times video development manager Scott Wolynski and software engineer Flávio Ribeiro in a post today, referring to the recent moves by Mozilla and Google to restrict Flash in their browsers.

The move, however, is limited to video on The New York Times’ site, not the site overall. “Flash still might be used in other parts of the site in third-party display advertisements,” said a company spokesperson.

Like most publishers and advertisers, the Times adopted Flash when the tech was an indispensable standard. Both the majority of advertising and its own legacy video content needed Flash to run. While Flash has few fans among developers, it’s been hard to quit, thanks largely to the ad world’s clinging to it. But the recent developments in HTML5 have made the standard a more viable replacement for Flash, which has started to show its age.

The Times is far from alone in its anti-Flash stance. Amazon, for example, last August stopped allowing Flash assets for ads on its network. The browser makers have also pushed back on the tech. Chrome now forces users to click a play button before interacting with Flash content, and Firefox briefly blocked Flash entirely last year. Even Adobe distanced itself from the tech when it officially killed the Flash brand  in favor of pushing developers to Adobe Animate CC.

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