Image-Sharing Services Vie With Printing, Study Shows

Retailers concerned about the future of digital imaging must be concerned not just with printing, but also with services that allow consumers to manage and share their photos, according to a report released by InfoTrends last week.

WEYMOUTH, Mass. — Retailers concerned about the future of digital imaging must be concerned not just with printing, but also with services that allow consumers to manage and share their photos, according to a report released by InfoTrends here last week. Three billion images were shared via e-mail in the U.S. in 2006. Factoring in sharing conducted via websites, social networks and picture messaging, InfoTrends reports that well over 8 billion images were shared during the last calendar year, and a compound annual growth rate of over 8% is expected through 2011. “As the digital photography market matures, we expect that monetization will occur beyond capture and print; there will be more focus on enabling services rather than just selling products,” said Ed Lee, a director at InfoTrends. The study also found that consumers younger than 25 years old engage in more sharing activities; those older than 45 are more concerned with the storage and preservation of their memories; and those between 25 and 44 are prime candidates for participating in all aspects of the digital imaging market.

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