Need a way to project penetration for player releases? Read on…

This is great question, and I’m happy to say it is not a difficult one for me to answer. We have a lot of historical data on new player releases, and can validate that it follows a fairly consistent path. This is how we have been able to state that historically, new releases took 12 months to reach 80% — but with Flash Player 8 and Flash Player 9, it now takes 9 months to reach 80% and 12 months to reach 90%.

We have our data, but also we hear anecdotal stats from our customers that validate the penetration study we run every quarter. I always try to remind folks that the Millward Brown study is sampling to mirror an general internet-connected PC population, so your site’s demographics are likely to differ. But for large sites with broad reach and a broad customer base, the numbers you get should be fairly consistent with the numbers we publish. Use our numbers as a general guide on the penetration of Flash Player, but the best way for you to know what the penetration is for YOUR particular audience is to check it yourself.

So here is a basic guideline that you can use to project penetration of a particular release:
@3 months = 30 – 40%
@6 months = 55 – 65
@9 months = 80 – 85%
@12 months = 90+%

So working with the release date, you can figure out the penetration of a specific version and later. For example, Flash Player 9r28 with the full screen feature went out in November. That’s about 9 months since initial release. Therefore, PCs that have 9r28 or a later version should be around 80%. Check your site, and see how that matches up for your audience.

Again, I said this is the “typical” trend. If every major site in the world decided to start pushing Moviestar the day we launch, the penetration rate would be faster in the first two periods. The trend tends to flatten out once it hits 80% on it’s way to 90% and beyond.

To find out about the player dot release enhancements, fixes and versions, visit the release notes here. Unfortunately, they don’t have release dates (maybe a good thing to add moving forward, now that I mention it) but I believe I’ve blogged availability for every release so far for Flash Player 9.

Flash Player penetration study page here. Note, the June data is horribly late and I apologize for that. We’re working on getting it posted. The Flash Player 9 penetration was at 90.3% for mature markets, v8 was at 98.5%, and v6 and v7 were at 99.3%. Putting it in other terms, it means:

90.3% of PCs can view SWF9 or below
98.5% of PCs can view SWF8 or below
99.3% of PCs can view SWF 7 or below, and we can drop testing of SWF6 moving forward.

And if you don’t like that presentation, the above can also be read as:
90.3% of PCs have Flash Player 9 installed
8.2% of PCs have Flash Player 8 installed
0.8% of PCs have Flash Player 7 installed

Fun with numbers 🙂 Hope this helps.

10 Responses to Need a way to project penetration for player releases? Read on…

  1. vruz says:

    Still it looks like things are different for the different platform targets… say for example Flash 9 for Linux. Also considering the successor to FlashLite 2.0 was due back in june and the date silently slipped by, a separate estimate for diferent incarnations of AVM2 would also be helpful.Those absolute numbers provided probably reflect more accurately the Flash player for Windows platform… which coincidentally, could be approximated to be a 90% of all desktops out there.That being said, it’s still useful data for people targeting Windows solely.Best,vruz

  2. admin says:

    Thank you for this useful (pre-)information.

  3. Stefan says:

    Emmy, those last figures seem wrong (typo?):8.2% of PCs have Flash Player 8 installed0.8% of PCs have Flash Player 7 installed

  4. emmy huang says:

    @stefanNo, that’s correct. If 90.3% of people can view SWF9 or earlier and 98.5% can view SWF8 or earlier, it means:90.3% of PCs have v9 installed98.5% – 90.3% = 8.2% have v8 installed99.3% – 90.3% = 0.8% have v7 installedThink of it this way, if I show you a v6 SWF and you can view it, you’re counted in that bucket. If I then show you a v7 SWF and you can view it, you are counted in that bucket and so on. If I show you a v8 SWF and you can view it, but then you can’t view the v9 SWF, then you must have v8 installed.Hope that helps.e

  5. bobm says:

    Very interested in other devices with Flash 9 support like larger format ARM based platforms. The Nokia n800 with Flash 9 showed that a full internet experience is possible and lots of new devices are coming.

  6. Nick says:

    Hi Emmy – can you give us a ball park as to when beta 3 will move from Labs into live?ThanksNick

  7. maliboo says:;) It seems you have wrong verion numeration for march 2007 (FP5-8 instead 6-9)

  8. emmy huang says:

    @nick – we said “Fall” in the press release.@ maliboo – thanks, we’re fixing that typo.

  9. nicholas says:

    hi emmy – is it possible for an external device to receive v9 swf downloads via computer USB and play same?

  10. adam says:

    Emmy, interesting blog. Do you have adoption statistics for version 9 for home vs. work audiences? If a site has a large portion of it audience accessing the content from work (some on large corporate networks) does that impact adoption projections?