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8 Billion Photos Shared in 2006

InfoTrends/CAP VenturesA recent InfoTrends study affirms that sharing is the top reason why people take photos. Over 8 billion images were shared during the last calendar year in the US alone. The report also shows a strong correlation between the use of the Web and satisfaction with digital imaging. “As the digital photography market matures, we expect that monetization will occur beyond capture and print: there will be more focus on enabling services rather than just selling products,” commented Ed Lee, a Director at InfoTrends.

InfoTrends Press Release

New InfoTrends Study Indicates Continued Growth in Photo Imaging Services

Study Profiles and Segments Changing Base of Digital Imaging Consumers

(Weymouth, MA) May 15, 2007… According to a new groundbreaking report from InfoTrends, the future remains bright for individual imaging vendors that are prepared to help move consumers to the next stage in digital photography, which is characterized not only by photo capturing and printing but also by robust “manage and share” solutions. The InfoTrends study assesses the level of consumer interest in the ability to view, receive, manage, and share images between devices at any time, regardless of where the images are stored. It also sizes and forecasts the market opportunity for these types of services, which are in the rapid growth stage of the product lifecycle curve.

The study affirms that sharing is still the top reason why people take photos. E-mail remains the most prevalent method of sharing, as 3 billion images were shared via e-mail in the US in 2006. Factoring in sharing conducted via Web sites, social networks, and MMS, InfoTrends reports that well over 8 billion images were shared during the last calendar year, and a healthy compound annual growth rate of over 8% is expected through 2011.

“As the digital photography market matures, we expect that monetization will occur beyond capture and print: there will be more focus on enabling services rather than just selling products,” commented Ed Lee, a Director at InfoTrends. “Imaging activities will include the creation, sharing, and consumption of user generated content. The business model will revolve around the ecosystem, and the Internet will play a central role in connecting all the pieces.”

The report shows a strong correlation between the use of the Web and satisfaction with digital imaging. The research also identifies distinct differences in imaging behavior by demographics and psychographic attributes. For example, consumers younger than 25 years old engage in more sharing activities; those older than 45 are more concerned with the storage and preservation of their memories; and those between 25 and 44 are prime candidates for participating in all aspects of the digital imaging ecosystem.

Personal computers and laptops are still viewed by consumers as the primary mechanisms for viewing and editing photos, but InfoTrends’ forecasts indicate that the use of the TV as an image-viewing device will rise over the course of the forecast period. Prints will remain an important part of the market, but there are significant differences in print activity by age of consumer.

The new digital imaging ecosystem offers many opportunities for product and service vendors, assuming that open standards and systems will prevail,” continued Lee. “Understanding how many people and images are involved in any given activity can help vendors focus their efforts and identify future business partners.”

Today, InfoTrends announced the release of its new study entitled, Digital Imaging Lifestyles: Digital Imaging in an Era of Excess. The study analyzes how US consumers’ “imaging lifestyles” are changing with the advancement of digital technology and services. It examines what is driving these changes, highlights vendor opportunities, illustrates which companies are best positioned to benefit from market developments, and provides a forecast showing the potential of these opportunities.

Research for the study consisted of 30 face-to-face consumer interviews and a Web-based survey of over 1,200 respondents in the U.S.

The complete study is available immediately for purchase. For more information about the study or to make a purchase, contact Matt O’Keefe at +1 781 616 2100 ext. 115 or matt_okeefe@infotrends.com.

InfoTrends, a Questex company, is the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry. We provide research, analysis, forecasts, and advice to help clients understand market trends, identify opportunities, and develop strategies to grow their businesses. Additional information about InfoTrends is available on the Web at http://www.infotrends.com.

Copyright © 2007 InfoTrends. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reuse of InfoTrends materials is strictly prohibited without prior written consent. If you are interested in referencing InfoTrends content, please submit your request to allison_jones@infotrends.com.

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2007

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Reader Comments

  1. Wow! 8 million images - a very interesting read..
    Paul @ http://www.photographyvoter.com

    Paul at 10:46pm on Monday, May 21, 2007

  2. Manual Trackback

    Tim / fotonews at 07:54pm on Friday, June 01, 2007

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