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Monday, June 28, 2010, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Pornographers next to dump Flash for HTML5

Apple is finding an unlikely ally in its efforts to support HTML5 in preference to Adobe Flash as the platform for dynamic web content: pornographers.

According to a report by ConceivablyTech, leading adult film studio Digital Playground has announced its intentions to make the leap to HTML5, based in part upon needing to target HTML5 to reach Apple's iPhone users.

Digital Playground began offering its content to iPhone users two years ago. Because Apple has a policy of not carrying pornography in its own curated App Store, the only option available to to the studio was to use the iPhone's open, unrestricted web platform.

Adobe had failed to release a suitable version of Flash for the iPhone and other mobile platforms, so Digital Playground targeted HTML5 as its mobile delivery platform. Adobe is now nearing the official release of its Flash player for Android, but Ali Joone, the founder and director of Digital Playground, "indicated that it is rather irrelevant to him whether Android will support Flash or not," according to the report.

"Mobile browsers run HTML 5 very well," Joone said. "Flash brings everything to a crawl and has an impact on battery life. With HTML 5, there is no reason to show our content in Flash."

Digital Playground continues to use Flash to target desktop users, but Joone noted that his company plans to make the shift there, too. "We are waiting for browsers to catch up. As soon as they are ready, we will move everything to HTML 5,” noting it was “just a matter of time” until Flash disappears. “It’s the next passing of the torch.”

The power of Apple's mobile platform to shift content producers toward open standards is based on dollars. Digital Playground's founder reported, "We were surprised how loyal iPhone and especially iPad owners are. 70% of our customers are returning customers. They spend a lot of money.”

Joone added that people like to watch adult content on mobile devices for the sense of personal space. “First there was the TV. Then there was the PC, which is now shared by the entire family and it’s not personal anymore. The phone is very personal to us, which is why our content works on this platform.”