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Ed Lee

Our Best Photos Deserve to Be Printed

Sep 12, 2018 12:22:28 PM

Excerpt from Digital Imaging Reporter’s State of the Industry 2018

The photo output market has gone through major changes since digital cameras replaced film photography. Film had to be developed and printed in order to see the photos. So there was a minimum ratio of one-to-one with prints. Thanks to smartphones, we are now taking more photos than ever before. However, only a fraction of them will ever make their way onto a print or photo product (more than 1.2 trillion images were captured globally by cameras and smartphones in 2017).

Even so, the photo output market is still big business. Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends estimates that more than 38 billion traditional prints were produced worldwide in 2017. The market is expected to stay relatively flat, declining to 36 billion prints by 2020.

The personalized photo products market is slowing down after several years of growth. We estimate that fewer than 1.4 billion units of photo merchandise products (including photo books, cards, calendars and wall décor items) were produced worldwide in 2017. Moreover, that number will grow to just over 1.4 billion units by 2020.

Beyond photo books, the biggest growth opportunities are in the wall décor segment, with products such as canvas and metal prints.

Given how carefree some people are with their photos, and how easy it is to lose or delete a digital photo, there is a great danger that the most important memories shot today will never be seen by future generations. Traditional prints and photo products are tangible memories that stand the test of time—an important message to communicate to today’s consumers.

To read the full DIR State of the Imaging Market 2018 story, Click here.

About the Digital Imaging Reporter publication/article

DIR editors asked leaders in the industry to offer their insights for its State of the Industry 2018 report. These leaders have provided their perspectives into what the year has brought and what we can expect in the months to come.