New Opportunities for Imaging in Brazil, Russia, India, and China

Ed Lee
May 18, 2011

As the developed regions of the world, like the United States and Western Europe, experience a maturing of the digital camera and photo printing markets, new sales opportunities will come from emerging markets, most of which are in early stages of market development. Among these emerging markets are Brazil, Russia, India, and China, also known as the BRIC countries. These countries are ripe for growth in digital photography and have common traits that will appeal to digital imaging vendors.

Low household penetration rates for digital cameras and large populations are a good combination for increased camera sales to first-time buyers; however, growth rates may be hindered to some degree by low penetration of personal computers and home Internet access, as well as low household incomes in these countries. Nevertheless, growth in these adjacent markets will help fuel the digital photography market.

InfoTrends recently surveyed consumers in Brazil, Russia, India, and China and uncovered some very interesting findings. In these markets, both digital cameras and mobile phones with cameras/smartphones are actively being used to take photographs. Russians and Indians appear to rely on their mobile phones more than their Chinese or Brazilian counterparts. About one third of Russians and Indians use their mobile phones most often for taking pictures. Everyone is photo active with their digital cameras as well as their mobile phones.

When digital cameras are new to a market, consumers tend to take lots of photos. In countries like the U.S., we saw picture taking go through a honeymoon period where the number of photos taken increased each year as people were learning how to use the technology and were excited about taking photos. The honeymoon period is over in the U.S. and the number of photos taken each year has declined in the last few years, and now the figure appears to be settling into a steady-state number as consumers’ picture taking habits become more established. The BRIC countries, however, are still early in their courtship phase and photographers take considerably more photos (up to 2. 5 times) than their U.S. counterparts. More photos captured means more opportunities to monetize them; either through sharing, storage, printing or the creation of personalized photo products.

The preceding passage was originally published as part of an article in the April 2011 issue of Picture Business. To view the full article, click here.

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