Video in email: is HTML5 the saviour?

Up until now, video in email meant going through a lot of trouble for you as the sender: it means optimizing for many clients, providing fallback for the email clients that don’t support your media and much more. The time and effort were most of the time not worth it: the resulting animated gifs (streaming or not) were not very pretty to see, because the gif standard is limited to 256 colors. This could all change in the near future however, with the arrival of HTML5: a new definition of HTML including many cool sets of support for video (sadly currently on Mac only).
Below is an example of an HTML5 video in email:

I recently talked to Anna Yeaman from about this: I noted that I expected webclients including Hotmail and GMail to support HTML5 fully very soon (good news for video in email), probably even within the next six months. Anna replied to me with why I’d think that would happen so fast, and I said because both Microsoft and Google own the browsers (Internet Explorer and Chrome, respectively) that facilitate webmail clients and are currently racing to getting the best technology support in their browsers.
Of course, even with HTML5 support in the biggest webclients (combined, Hotmail and GMail serve about 500 million email addresses) we’re not there yet: a huge chunk of the business market uses offline clients like Microsoft Outlook and others. In this case, a fallback option is still needed, but we’re finally getting a bit more space for rich media in email. More on HTML5 video and email can be found on this blog post.

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