OPINION: Video Poised to Overtake Email… Soon

The following is a guest contributed post by Fritz Brumder, CEO of Brandlive.

You wake up, and scroll through the latest news stories on Snapchat, then open up Slack to watch some quick video assignments for work while you brush your teeth. You’re in a hurry, but the first meeting of the day is a video call that you can take from the train (thanks, public wi-fi!).

At 8:30 a.m., you arrive at your desk, and your manager’s left three video messages with some feedback on last week’s project, including some tweaks she needs by noon. Come 9 a.m., you jump onto the CEO’s live video update to all employees for the week. She likes to make sure everyone knows the major priorities, and can ask questions and make suggestions in real-time.

A couple quick IMs set a time, and you and your team videochat quick to divide up roles to make sure everyone can review the file before the deadline.

During a late lunch, your coworkers pull up a quick video clip from last night’s big series finale. Then you’re back at your desk, to share some video feedback with the team’s interns in New York. Gotta multi-task since your favorite clothing brand has their live video summer sneak-peak fashion show starting at 3 p.m. (6 ET), so you jump onto that late in your day to get a little shopping done for the summer season.

Your day closes with an evening call between a client in Honolulu and his associate in Chicago, who’s joining the video conference from the airport. You share some action items at the end of the call, then send the recorded video to the full team afterward.

It’s March 1, 2019. And video has overtaken email.

The concept may seem foreign to a culture that’s just as tethered to email as ever — 205 billion emails were sent per day in early 2015, and that number’s actually supposed to grow to 246 billion in 2019.

But dig a bit deeper and the numbers are deceptive. Nearly half of all emails are spam, and the open rate for email in North America hovers around 30 percent. That’s not effective communication at all.

Video, on the other hand, is only growing as a means to communicate, at work and at play. Live video will only grow as a means to interact in our work and personal lives, as we’re on the go more than ever, but still crave face-to-face contact.

This year (back to the present, 2017, now), video is poised to account for 74 percent of all web traffic. Even in 2014, when internet speeds weren’t what they are today, simply using the word “video” in an email increased open rates by 19 percent.

Hubspot saw that 43 percent of those surveyed wanted more video content last year. Customers are also four times more likely to watch a video about a product than read about it.

These are clear signs of a shift in the way we live, and specifically, in the way we do business (and will do business by 2019). Enterprise investment in video has continued to climb in recent years, and will only grow more as technology matures. If video proves it’s better equipped to reach customers than traditional emails (and that goes for B2B and B2C), then it only makes good business sense to jump at that opportunity, no?

High-quality video has also become easier and easier for anyone to create, manage and produce.

Industry behemoth Skype has been in the game since 2003, and still has 300 million monthly active users. Skype’s free, for the most part, as are other increasingly accessible options. Meet by Google is the latest enterprise-focused offering for the company, as more and more businesses go that route for all-in-one data, file, email and video management. It’s simple — basically Hangouts for your office — and only serves to continue wider adoption of video conferencing.

Same goes for Zoom Video, which aims for as little set-up as possible. They provide quick extensions for browsers and Microsoft Outlook, making it an incredibly fast process to get right into your video meeting.

Services like these keep popping up and keep growing rapidly in the space. Even as the prices of video services fall, profits are going up due to end-user adoption. That only serves to create more investment in video — whether that’s conferencing, pre-recorded or live segments.

When March 1, 2019 rolls around, it won’t feel like you’ve traveled through time. We’ve been moving toward this new, post-email reality all along. Email may never truly die off, of course. But video will soon be the way we do business. And with video’s abilities to create more valuable interactions on both sides of the screen, it seems we’ll be better off for it.

About The Author

Fritz Brumder is the CEO and a co-founder of Brandlive. Fritz is a long-time Internet strategist and entrepreneur. Using his experience in and passion for video production, and expertise in Internet strategy, he developed the vision for and launched Brandlive, a leading Software-as-a-Service solution that brands and retailers leverage to create highly engaging online events for their products and product experts — seamlessly combining live video, social interaction, and instant commerce. Fritz has developed digital media solutions for the world’s best brands for over 10 years.