It’s been over a year since we covered jwplayer’s State of HTML5 and now that the report has been updated, it’s time for us to take another look. Chrome is still clearly in the lead in terms of HTML5 browsers with a full one-third share of the entire market. Now, that’s not all browsers, because there are still many that are not HTML5 compliant. In fact, browsers supporting HTML5 are about 80% of all browsers out in the wild, according to the report. Let’s take a closer look:

HTML5 Browser Market Share

Chrome is dominating the HTML5 supporting browser install base with that previously mentioned 33%, which more than doubles Firefox and IE9+ installs which are each at 14%. On the mobile front iOS and Android account for 8% each of total HTML5 browser installs. Amazing when you think about how popular those handy devices are and how many people have more than one.

Chrome is up 3%, Firefox down 5%, IE9+ down 2% from last year.

HTML5 browsers 2013


The more amazing thing is that 20% still don’t have HTML5 support. Also, Opera dropped off the grid meaning that it has less than 1% market share. Windows Phone also has less than 1% and so too is not broken out. However, I’m not exactly sure how they arrived at these specific numbers because I could not replicate them at StatCounter, which is the cited source for the stats. There, Chrome ranges near 40% and IE 9 and 10 alone are over 15% in terms of worldwide.

Statcounter worldwide browsers nov 2013

HTML5 Browser Media Support

In terms of what media is supported, the only really interesting change is that Firefox now supports MP4, MP3 and AAC which it did not last year. Chrome and Firefox maintain their support for WebM and Vorbis as well.

HTML5 browser media support


Last year IE9 was ignoring the preload attribute but that’s changed. The only platforms that don’t support autoplay and preload are, logically, iOS and Android. Those two attributes along with player controls and the poster attribute are supported across the major browsers.

For the Javascript API there is some expanded support as well since all browsers now support the full Javascript API. But that said, iOS and Android don’t change volume or support the playback functionality. I’ve compiled the two charts into one below.

HTML5 tag attribute and JS support

Fullscreen is another facet of the HTML5

Both the iPad and Android tablets support a fullscreen control, plus the (legacy) webkitEnterFullScreen() API. The iPhone and Android 2.x phones only play video in fullscreen, so a control is not needed, while Android 4+ phones play videos inline.

HTML5 Browser Text Track Support

Here is an area of major importance to us all as video SEO is forefront in our mind for HTML5

Right now, it’s hit or miss for support of various formats. Firefox is lagging way behind as it doesn’t support anything at the moment, neither does Android, and Internet Explorer is barely scraping by. Everyone else has full support of basic captions, WebVTT and Javascripting. I talked about WebVTT some time ago. Oddly, Microsoft has a page stating that Internet Explorer 10 supports WebVTT and TTML but there’s no mention of this in the State of HTML5.


The next big thing seems to be images for seeking, chapters and searching. Right now on that Microsoft page above you can search their caption file to be taken to a specific time in the video. More interestingly in the future might be a film strip navigation where you can quickly read through the text and see a thumbnail for each chapter as defined by the publisher.

HTML5 Browser Support for Adaptive Steaming

Finally, jwplayer looks at adaptive streaming support across the HTML5 supporting browsers and it won’t surprise you to know that it’s a disaster in terms of support. The only browser with Media Source API support is Chrome. Safari, iOS and Android all have built-in HLS and that’s all the support there is. The desktop majors don’t support HLS and almost none support Media Source. It is quite new though and IE 11 is reportedly going to support it. The rest are also said to be working on it.

Of note is the warning that HLS is buggy on iOS and Android and so is a builder beware situation.


The Ultimate HTML5

It seems to me that if I’m going to be working with HTML5’s <video> tag, I’m looking at using Chrome. It supports the most features across the board. It’s no wonder that it is a full third of all HTML5 browser installs currently based on their research. They are quick to incorporate new features when they become available and have helped shape the landscape somewhat. They folded on the WebM only thing unlike Firefox, in order to allow for wider implementation even though they had a hand in developing the other video format.  Internet Explorer does sound like it will come close as they have announced support for several features that are vital for the success of HTML5 as a video player.