Email Rising: Study Predicts A $46.8 Billion Market By 2021

Not to come on too strong, but email -- far from declining -- is expected to almost double in revenue within the next four years. The channel will grow from $23.8 billion this year to $46.8 billion, at an average annual growth rate of 18%, according to a study by The Radicati Group, Inc., a technology market research firm. 

The biggest jump – 22% -- will come next year. And then growth will even off to 18% in 2019, 17% in 2020 and 16% in 2021.

What’s driving this revenue growth? The migration of on-premises mailboxes to cloud mailboxes, Radicati says in an executive summary.   

“Cost, ease of use and low administrative overhead are the main drivers for cloud email adoption,” Radicati writes. “However, organizations still voice concerns over the security and privacy of cloud email solutions.”

Meanwhile, consumer email use is growing at a more modest pace.  The number of users worldwide is expected to grow from 3.7 billion users this year to 4.1 billion in 2021, for an annual growth rate of 3%.



Daily email traffic is expected to grow from 269 billion per day to 319.6 billion in 202—and an annual rate of 4%.

Whatever the percentages, Radicati is upbeat about email adoption.

“Consumer email use continues to grow worldwide, as more people gain access to the Internet on a worldwide basis,” it writes. “Email remains a key component of the online experience, as email accounts are required for any form of online activity ranging from signing up to social networking sites (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), accessing chat or instant messaging services, online shopping or any other type of online activity.”

But to get back to business growth: Just how does Radicati define the “email mail market?” It consists of these elements:

  • Enterprise Messaging Platforms — This includes both on-premises email and platforms from vendors like IBM and Microsoft, and others.
  • Messaging Platforms for Service Providers These platforms are deployed by service providers such as Xchange, Oracle, Synchronoss Messaging, Synacor (Zimbra)and others.
  • Cloud Business Email — These are “multi-tenant or dedicated hosted services that provide business email and collaboration,” Radicati notes. Among them are Intermedia, Google, Microsoftand others.
  • Email Clients — This term denotes desktop or Web-based interfaces for accessing email — IBM, Microsoft Outlook, and others.
  • Consumer Email — These are email services geared to consumers. Google Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo Mail,and many others.

This isn’t the only such forecast to appear. In April, Transparency Market Research predicted a compounded annual growth rate (CPGR0)of 19.60% for up to 2025, to $22.16 billion. It’s not clear what Transparency was including as part of the email business, but that figure is less than half of  Radicati’s forecast. Still, it shows significant growth.

So it’s clear, whichever of these predictions you believe: The boom times are coming. 

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