The H.264 Encoding Boom

Earlier this week, Steve Jobs said quite confidently that alternatives like H.264 have already made the lion's share of web video available to devices that don't support Flash. This chart shows why he's probably right.

TechCrunch scored these numbers from, a service that has encoded over five million videos in the last year, including those of Brightcove, MTV and MySpace. At this time last year, 69 per cent of the video they were encoding was in Flash, either VP6 or FLV; now it is only 26 per cent combined. H.264, on the other hand, went from 31 per cent to 66 per cent over the same period. The numbers don't lie.

Unless, of course, the numbers do lie. There's no way to tell how closely's work reflects the internet at large, and this doesn't mean that H.264 video is replacing Flash, just getting crammed along next to it. Many of the reasons we said HTML5 wasn't going to save the internet still apply.

Still, the president of seems to think his numbers reflect those of the internet as a whole, and as TechCrunch points out, with H.264-friendly YouTube accounting for 40 per cent of the web's video, he might be right. Whether or not these alternatives replace Flash for web video remains to be seen - and won't be clear any time soon - but these numbers show that H.264 is definitely already saddling up alongside of it. [TechCrunch]

Trending Stories Right Now