When it comes to action cameras, GoPro is pretty much the dominant brand on the market. Generations of action and sports enthusiasts have embraced the company’s cameras and accessories, with the fifth generation of their signature product, the Hero, finally hitting stores this month.
However, as extreme sports filming grows in popularity, a number of competing camera makers have come to market to introduce products they hope will steal the crown from GoPro, though few have truly delivered. But will the onset of drone technology paired with lackluster reception of recent product unveilings finally interfere with GoPro’s market dominance?
For starters, the year-over-year revenue growth for the company has been in negative territory for almost the entirety of 2016. The first quarter of the year saw earnings decline a whopping 50 percent, followed by similar trajectories in the second and third quarters, at 47 percent and 31 percent, respectively. While these figures may appear to be damning, they are most likely attributed to the fact that the company didn’t have a new product to sell in a market that the brand has already saturated.
As we enter the fourth quarter – and with the holidays right around the corner – the company is hoping to up their earnings by roughly 54 percent thanks to the introduction of the Hero5 and their first-ever Karma drone. Even if that figure holds water, the company is still expected to see overall revenue drop roughly 14 percent compared to the year before, after seeing growth of 16 percent in 2015 and a stellar 41 percent the year prior.
Those figures for the fourth quarter may not, however, be a truly reliable forecast, as early reports on the next-generation Hero5 indicate that it’s not the groundbreaking update that many fans had been hoping for. Taking a cue from Apple, the latest edition of the Hero appears to mostly be a Hero4 with more standard features included, ie. waterproofing and touch screen capabilities straight out of the factory.
For GoPro’s entry into the world of recreational drones, Karma faces challenges from competitors like DJI’s new Mavic Pro, which actually comes to market at the same time as Karma. While the jury is out on which drone is more performant, the Karma faces an increasingly crowded market that the original Hero didn’t have to contend with when GoPro first took command of the industry.
Regardless of the competition, GoPro still makes some of the best equipment out there, and, if anything, a little competition may inspire them to step up their game. In the meantime, however, stay tuned to the blog to learn more about what products work best for your needs and how Link and the Fasetto App can help you capture and share all of your shots.