Jul 29, 2010
Yesterday, Adobe announced its public tender offer to acquire Switzerland-based Day Software for $240 Million ($USD), which is expected to close by the end of 2010. Day Software develops and sells content technologies, including CRX, a Java-based enterprise-level content repository, as well as CQ5, which can be utilized for Web Content Management, Digital Asset Management, and social collaboration. The move is an interesting, although not necessarily surprising one by Adobe, a company that has been fairly aggressive with strategic acquisitions over the past few years. Its recent acquisitions of Web analytics firm Omniture and online business platform Business Catalyst have underscored Adobe’s pursuit of moving beyond developing tools to create content, as well as its increased focus on digital content. The Day Software acquisition pushes Adobe further in these directions and brings up a number of considerations.
Read more »
Jul 22, 2010
Last week Agfa announced that it has acquired Pitman Company. While this deal was probably much more about the distribution of Pitman’s more traditional line of business, prepress materials, it nevertheless has a lot of implications for the wide format and industrial inkjet market because of Pitman’s prominence in wide format. Read more »
14 months ago, I gave birth to my first child, a little boy. Prior to his birth, I had spent a lot of time speaking with clients about the opportunity that mothers represent to the photography industry. I could see from the many of the surveys that we conducted in Europe and the U.S. that mums (or moms) take many photos and also print and share a great deal of them. Mums are typically less affluent than male Hobbyists, but they seem to be willing to spend a larger proportion of their income on photos. Now that I am a mother myself, I can speak with conviction about why mums are so photo-active.
Read more »
Jul 20, 2010
There were several interesting announcements in the publishing industry yesterday that have me thinking deeply about the future of print and digital content.
In the book industry, Amazon.com announced some startling figures related to its Kindle and e-book sales.
- Amazon.com is now selling more e-books than hardcover books. Over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. (The ratio is 100 to 180 over the last month!) These figures are across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and include sales of hardcover books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.
- Amazon sold more than 3x as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as in the first half of 2009. During this period Amazon lowered the price of the Kindle to $189 from $259 (27% reduction).
- The Association of American Publishers’ latest data reports that e-book sales grew 207% year-to-date through May. Kindle book sales through May exceeded that growth rate.
Read more »
Jul 19, 2010
InfoTrends has been conducting end-user surveys to track the adoption and usage of digital cameras for over a decade. Our research indicates that digital cameras are now fully entrenched in the mainstream market. Thanks to falling prices and ever-improving technologies, just about anyone who is interested in owning a digital camera can now find something in their price range.
Many point & shoot camera models with features and functions that will far exceed the needs of casual photographers are currently offered for prices well below $100. At the other end of the spectrum are digital interchangeable lens cameras, which offer much more advanced features, manual controls, and considerably higher price points.
In June 2010, InfoTrends completed a comprehensive study entitled Digital SLRs and Other Interchangeable Lens Cameras: A Multi-Client Study. This study included a survey of 6,406 consumers. Of these, 1,648 individuals qualified as digital interchangeable lens camera owners (some of which were mirrorless hybrid camera owners). The results of this survey provided some interesting insights about the typical digital interchangeable lens camera owner of today. Read more »
Jul 15, 2010
The past few months have been pretty busy for Canon as they seek to protect their supplies in a big way. In May 2010, Canon filed several complaints with the Korean Trade Commission regarding its photosensitive drums used in printing equipment. Separately, at the end of June, Canon filed a complaint with the USITC (United States International Trade Commission) and a concurrent, separate lawsuit in district court regarding two patents covering the printer’s drive motor connection with the OPC drum in the toner cartridge. (See separate blog, “Canon Sues Ninestar and Others Over Toner Patents,” from June 30, 2010 ) For some time, many industry watchers were wondering if there was going to be any action regarding the increased activity in new build, compatible toner cartridges especially for HP/Canon laser printers. While there has been significant activity in inkjet, it has been very quiet on the toner side. Read more »
Jul 8, 2010
After succumbing to the marketing pleas of one major bank, I moved exclusively to electronic bill presentment and payment. It was the first credit card statementÂ for which I “turned off” paper and I was curious to see how I would like it.Â For this bank, moving me to electronic presentment may have resulted in short-term cost savings; however, there was a hiddenÂ cost that they may not have considered – the loss of a customer.
Last night, I received an email from this particular bank notifyingÂ me that my credit card statement was available online. When I went into the account, I was surprised to find a late fee and interest fee for a missed payment.Â
Apparently, the chain had broken somewhere in this billing cycle. I immediately thought that I had missed the email reminder, but it turns out that the reminder never came. I sorted my email Inbox by related emails and it showed the following: Read more »
Jul 7, 2010
I read an interesting article today in the Wall Street Journal that reminded me of the lack of innovation taking place in the digital still camera market. In the article Videogame Makers in Talks About Portable 3G Connections there is a quote from NTT DoCoMo President Ryuji Yamada who said, “videogame makers know that in order for portable game machines to take the next step forward, they need wireless. We are discussing this with various players.”
Unfortunately, most of the camera vendors have taken a very traditional approach to camera design by primarily focusing on megapixels, zoom, shutter lag time, and lower prices. While these improvements are all very nice, my feeling is they are pretty much played out.
The following chart shows DSC camera placements in North America over the last five years along with average megapixels and average selling price. Let’s face it, the market is saturated. DSC vendors have fulfilled the basic needs of consumers (taking a quality photo) with a wide range of cameras that meets every traditional need at a price point they can afford.
Lower Prices and More Megapixels Aren’t Driving More DSC Shipments
Read more »
Jul 6, 2010
The recent recession, technological advances, and the rapid cultural shift to real-time communications have created the perfect situation for change in marketing strategies, priorities, and services. Smartphones are enabling “always-on” consumers and knowledge workers to consume more electronic media and to proactively participate in social media with photos, videos, and real-time messaging. The wholesale shift in how consumers and knowledge workers communicate and respond to various offers has prompted marketers and advertisers to react by delivering more integrated campaigns across a variety of different media — including Web, mobile, social, and print channels.
Figure: U.S. Mobile Phone Penetration, 1981-2009
Read more »
Jul 1, 2010
An article on CNN todayÂ reported onÂ Finland’sÂ new law offering broadband service at an affordable price. In an interview with a CNN correspondent,Â Finnish communications minister Suvi Linden explained that the move “…is not for entertainment [purposes], it’s day-to-day life, and through this kind of e-services, of course, we are looking forward [to] more efficiency and more productivityÂ [in] public services.” She goes on to cite Internet banking as a key motivator for the law. “In the 1990’s we had the bank crisis in Finland, and after that, the banks started to offer bankingÂ [via the] Internet, and at this moment 86% of…all bank clients are using Internet banking…”
ThisÂ is a drastic move that will serve as an excellent caseÂ study on consumer and provider behavior in regards to electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP). It will likely help answer a few common questions in this industry: Read more »