With Adobe abandoning Flash for mobile and committing itself to HTML5, we spent some time wondering about the future for native apps and what this means for the mobile advertising market.
For starters, there are some pundits that are singing the HTML praise very loudly. Google and Yahoo are such two. After all, it is easier to develop in, less expensive and the major benefit is that it is cross platform – so develop once for all mobile platforms. Some believers say that by 2013 we will be wondering why we ever bothered with native apps.
However, HTML5 is still considered a little “clunky” (as one would expect for a relatively new protocol – but sure to be ironed out in the next few years), but the major concern is that it cannot tap into the native functionality of the devices it operates on, such as, notifications etc.
So in the short term, Native Apps will still be the preference of developers wanting to take full advantage of the platform they are developing for. However, we are already seeing companies choosing HTML5 as their preferred platform and it is especially relevant for smaller development companies that may not have the resources to develop on multiple platforms. As HTML5 develops further (even WC3 – the group charged with creating HTML5 – says that HTML5 won’t be fully complete until 2014) more and more develops will choose it for its ease and practicality.
So what does this mean for monetizing your assets? Well, HTML5 apps do not need to be sold through any app store so more profit in developers pockets for paid apps. However, on the flip side, right now most users will only search the app store so you are potentially losing a very strong marketing channel but not going through the app store (assuming you can be found in the first place – see our article on increasing your organic downloads)
As far as advertising revenue – since HTML5 is a web based platform, integrating an ad serving platform can be very simple. However, premium ad types, such as our Notification ads, which earn ECPMs of $20+, are not available on apps developed in HTML5 as these rely on the native environment to make these ads highly effective.
There is no doubt that the future of HTML5 is very promising and it’s still evolving. The fact that Adobe dumped flash says that they are betting that HTML5 is our future. What we need to see is HTML5 continue to evolve with a greater degree of access to native functionality so that pure web apps can deliver a comprehensive and high performing environment for ad driven apps.
I am certain this future is just around the corner and it will be interesting to see how much support HTML5 will get from the major operating systems – especially given Apple’s desire to keep their environment closed and Google’s focus on ad driven revenue.