U.S. digital photo print market growing to 11.7 billion prints this year

While the total photo prints in the US have been steadily declining over the years and are expected to be just over 25 billion this year, digital photo prints have shown strong growth and are expected to reach 11.7 billion in 2006,  according to Photo Marketing Association (reports WSJ).

InfoTrends/CAP Ventures forecasts show that U.S. consumer digital camera penetration will reach 55% and shipments of around 25 million in 2005, growing to 81% and about 21 million units shipped in 2010.  Camera phone penetration will grow from 31% and just over 36 million units shipped to 86% and nearly 80 million units shipped over the same period. But the growth in unit placements may not offset print volume decline.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest photo processor, is planning to install more than 2,000 new photo-processing kiosks from Kodak in its U.S. stores. This could boost kiosk sales at Wal- Mart to 500 million prints this year.

Kodak is the world leader in digital-photo kiosks (which range in price from $5,000 to $20,000) with 80,000 installed, including 35,000 in the U.S. 

The InfoTrends/CAP Ventures report outlines two possible outcomes for the market.  The first shows current trends continuing, with the U.S. digital photo print market growing from 7.8 billion prints* in 2004 to a peak in 2007, and then declining to reach 12.3 billion in 2010.  The growing penetration of digital cameras and camera phones helps slow the decline.  The second outcome shows sustained print activity, with print volume climbing steadily to 25 billion prints by 2010.  The revenue at stake is tremendous, ranging from $3.7 billion at the low end to $7.6 billion at the high end by 2010.   (* Print volumes are given in 4” x 6” equivalents.)

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