Qualitative research has become a more respected, less controversial methodology.
It is seen as complementary rather than competitive to quantitative research.
Even hardcore quantitative shops (ACNielsen, for example) have launched qualitative research departments in the past few years -- as an additional profit center, as input for modeling and custom research design, and as a way to sharpen quant questionnaires and elucidate quant findings
It is certainly richer to write a qualitative research debriefing and report when the comments and body language of respondents are still fresh and vivid, rather than weeks later when these impressions have dimmed.
The increase in videoconferencing of qualitative research seems in direct proportion to the number of research agencies and facilities worldwide who now have state-of-the-art equipment.
Video reports or video clips are increasingly popular ways to give non-attending management a glimpse of the affect and body language of consumers as they react to concepts or advertising or handle prototypes.