Google IMA Ends Flash in 2017

Blog 2 min read | Feb 28, 2017 | JW Player


The end-times are near for Flash! As you know from our last blogpost about Flash, the technology is quickly being pushed out in favor of HTML5 thanks to Google. While the last post covered the deprecation of Flash in browsers, we wanted to let you know about changes with Flash in advertising, specifically Google IMA.

If you haven’t heard already, Google is planning to deprecate their Google IMA Flash SDK as well as cease support for Flash VPAID ads when using the HMTL5 SDK in 2017. 

To top it all off, Google’s DFP will stop serving Flash ads as well. If you haven’t started migrating away from Flash, it’s time to get moving and we’re here to help you through it.

IMA Flash SDK Deprecation

First and foremost, JW Player stopped using the IMA Flash SDK in version 7.7 in October 2016. So, if you’re using JW Player 7.7 or above, this particular change won’t affect you.

Recommended action for those still using player versions prior to 7.7:  

If you have a lot of Flash VPAIDs, you’ll need to start working with your ad providers to switch to Javascript VPAIDs, otherwise you’re going to see issues with fill.

This is a great time to update your player and make the jump to a Flash-less JW Player experience.

Flash VPAIDs

Given that 50% of the ads we see run through IMA, and there are still a fair amount of Flash ads out there, you’re going to run into issues even if you’re using 7.7+. While the IMA HTML5 SDK can currently handle Flash VPAIDs, Google will no longer support them as of July 2017.

Recommended action for users of all player versions:

Reach out to your partners and get migrated off Flash as soon as possible so you can settle in with Javascript creatives and work out any kinks.

On the bright side, Javascript VPAIDs typically behave more predictably. We’re also constantly making improvements to our HLS streaming in HTML5, so hopefully you can also migrate off using Flash for streaming.


Google has a great writeup of all things related to the Flash deprecation including a timeline (April), the impact (significant), and a helpful walkthrough of how to update your setup to reference the new HTML5-compatible creatives.

Recommended action for DFP users:

Now’s a great time to do a deep dive into your setup and start making the suggested changes.

So Long and Thanks For All the Flash

It’s been a long and bumpy road with Flash, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Now’s the time to assess your reliance on Flash and kick the conversations with your advertising partners into high gear.

As always, we’d love to hear from you as you work on the final transition away from Flash.


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