It appears at least one of my 2011 video commerce predictions may have come true. Microsoft has released HTML5 video support in Hotmail. Such a move, should it prove part of a broad-based rollout and not some kind of limited beta test (details on this are still sketchy), could dramatically alter the landscape for video in email almost overnight.
Prior to Hotmail’s support for HTML5 video, B2C retail email marketers could deliver HTML5 video in email only to iOS devices and a smattering of other fringe mail clients. For most marketers, this might only mean a 5% – 15% “true” video in email penetration rate. With Hotmail’s release, the percentage of subscribers on a list that could receive full video in email may have just jumped by 15 to 35 percentage points, depending on the marketer’s list composition and the web browser in use by the subscriber (IE9 supports HTML5 video, but earlier versions of IE do not. The “latter-ish” versions of Chrome and Firefox also support HTML5 video.
At this point, details are sketchy but I’m sure more will be forthcoming over the coming hours and days.
Check out the complete story over on REELSEO or watch the video demo here: