Print Behavior Continues to Change

Print Behavior Continues to Change


PMA recently released some new figures on the U.S. photo printing market and the changes from just a couple of years ago are dramatic.

Print volume along with overall digital camera sales were reportedly both up through May, 2007 from the 2006 numbers to that point. We’ll take a closer look at the digital market in next week’s edition.

The volume of digital prints made was up 34 percent for the year thus far. Up most significantly was online ordering, which grew an amazing 80 percent over the prior year. Prints at kiosks climbed 42 percent; prints made at a retail minilabs grew 34 percent; and prints made at home experienced only 15 percent growth.

Retail printing continued its rapid climb, one it has enjoyed now for the last two years, accounting for 47.8 percent of all photo prints made to this point in 2007. Home printing, while still very much on the map, is down to 38.7 percent of photo printing activity. We can all recall when home printing accounted for around 60% of the total photo printing activity in the U.S., only a few years ago. Online orders mailed back to consumers’ homes, at around 3-6% for much of the last three years, has jumped to 12.1 percent of total print activity in the U.S.

Breaking down just the retail segment – 14 percent of digital prints were made on a kiosk, 23 percent were input into a kiosk and sent to a minilab or were made directly on a minilab, 10 percent were uploaded online and later picked up in store.

Digicam Sales Holding Steady

Despite all the “experts” claiming digital camera sales would be down in 2007, PMA’s numbers tell us unit sales actually grew 4.6 percent through June 2007. NPD recently added that actual dollar sales fell 5 percent, as digicam pricing continues its freefall. It’s not uncommon today to see 5-6 megapixels for around $200 (or less), so that number is not surprising.

Most of (over 90 percent) the digital camera sales activity is taking place in the 6-8 megapixel area. Obviously, with the DSLR category remaining hot, this trend will undoubtedly continue through the rest of 2007 and on into 2008.