Flash Throttling: Improving the Experience

Oct 7, 2015


There has been much ado in the news lately about Chrome and its active pausing of smaller Flash-based content. A recent post regarding this behavior was published when our VPAID 2.0 support was launched. We’re now happy to report that our latest release, JW Player 7.1.4, goes a step further. We’re now able to provide a better experience for viewers by intelligently reacting to Chrome’s Flash throttling.

Of course, “intelligently reacting” does not imply that we’re able to circumvent this throttling. Rather, the player is able to serve up a better experience for viewers and publishers. We’ll explore how by showing some examples:

First up, here is how a player appears and behaves in the case of JW 7.1.0 and below:

In this scenario, the player is in a pseudo-state with Flash being throttled. Playback in Flash is halted and our player is expecting some sort of information about this video playback. Resuming video playback from this state requires two distinct clicks; one to initiate Flash in Chrome and another click to initiate playback in the JW Player.

In the case of JW 7.1.4, the player will appear as follows:

We’ve hidden the player interface to remove any sort of ambiguation. A single click will now commence playback for both Flash and the JW Player. We think you’ll agree that it’s a much better experience for viewers.

In the case of VPAID flash ads, it’s worth noting that ad impressions may preemptively fire in this pseudo-playing state. Due to how the pausing works on Chrome, this is unfortunately out of our control. To counter this, JW Player 7.1.4 also supports the use of HTML5-based VPAID 2.0 creatives on top of Flash content. In this case, ads will both play and track correctly.

While this was a brief post, it is very important for us to show how JW Player 7.1.4 is able to react to Chrome’s Flash throttling. We’ve been receiving much concern from our publishers about this, so getting this feature into our player was very important to us.