Jeremy Wills, senior analyst with European-based market researcher FutureSource Consulting, delivered an overview earlier this year on the current and projected market for photographic services in Australia, Canada, Europe and the US, with a prediction that while the mix will change, overall demand will remain stable.
‘Photo Printing – A New Chapter’ showed the projected installed base of smartphones, digital cameras and tablets in Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA will grow and then plateau by 2019.
More devices has led to a meteoric rise in the number of images being captured and uploaded, driven largely by smartphones. This year, the combined daily upload of the four top platforms (Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram) is expected to reach 2200 billion!
Taking more, giving less
He looked at what people do with their digital images, based on a November 2015 consumer survey in the UK, France and Germany, along with a comparison to the study results from the same study in 2014. The percentage of respondents viewing their images on their mobile/smartphone screens declined in 2015 from 2014, as did the sharing of photos by email, websites and prints (viewing).
Ordering photo products for delivery is gaining popularity as apps continue to develop and consumers are encountering competitive offerings. In response to the question ‘Do you use an app to order printed photo products for delivery’, photo prints remain the leading product category, at 21 percent of the survey respondents, followed by photo books at 15 percent, calendars (14 percent) and greeting cards (13 percent). Thirty-five percent of the respondents indicated that they do not use an app for ordering.
The content of these photo product orders is shown below. For the leading content categories – ‘Family & Friends’ and ‘Holiday’ – most respondents prefer to order their photos through an app and have printed products delivered to home rather than printing at home or ordering via an app for collection in store. Although the value of print orders continues to decline, production of other products is rising. As a result, the combined value of these products, while dipping slightly, is expected to hold relatively steady.
Jeremy Wills concluded that the industry needs to: continue to offer new and exciting products; be flexible; adapt to mobility; offer quick and simple solutions; and continue to market to consumers – remind them that printed images are permanent. Proximity and mobility are key for the photo industry for ensuring future sales.
– We hope to report on FutureSource market research more regularly in future. As we have stated often through the years, the Australian photo industry, especially following the demise of PMA and the reduced role of IDEA, suffers from a paucity of publicly-available marrket data. We hope FutureSource can to a certain extend fill the vacuum.