Digital Cameras are Mainstream

According to the recently completed 2003-2004 PMA Industry Trends Report: Retail Markets
digital camera sales are estimated to have grown 30 percent in 2004 to 25.1 million units and accounted for 67 percent of all camera sales. Digital camera penetration is expected to be slightly above 40 percent of the U.S.household population compared to almost 30 percent in 2003.

That' s impressive!

The summary continues:
Adoption of printing services lagged behind that of digital cameras, but as consumers became interested in printing their digital images a variety of home and retail printing options have emerged and the number of digital prints made has rapidly grown. In 2004, digital prints are estimated to have reached 4.9 billion prints and are projected to grow 51 percent in 2005 to 7.4 billion and account for 28 percent of total print volume. Total print volume-which includes home printing-was down in 2004, but in 2005 it is expected to remain flat at 26.3 billion prints. Printing of traditional film and digital prints at retail, however, will fall from 23.2 to 22.4 billion prints. So, while retail digital printing will grow it will not offset retail volume losses of traditional film processing.

Looking to the future, after digital camera sales peak, retailers will need to continue to focus on sales of consumables and accessories. And as digital cameras become the primary camera for most households, continuous innovation of printing and services will be necessary for retailers to continue to generate revenue. In addition to growing the number of prints made, retailers will need to stimulate usage of unprinted images through new sharing and custom product options. If retailers do not continuously improve their offerings, some images will go unused and more consumers may choose to print at home.

With online photo sharing (e.g., www.flickr.com), email, the ability to view photos on portable devices (e.g., PDAs), internet enabled photo frames, etc., I predict the number of prints made will decline significantly before it plateaus out; people have fewer reasons to make prints than before. (UPDATE 17 Jan 2005: More on Photo Sharing Sites from Wired and SocialSoftwareWeblog).

I predict increasing sales of products customized with a digital image (e.g., calendars, mugs, shirts, etc.) because it is easier to have these products made than before. OTOH, I suspect these products yield better profit than prints.

No comments:

Post a Comment