Eastman Kodak Company
Greater Customer Access To Images Opens New Doors
Jaime Cohen, GM & VP, Americas Region, Digital & Film Imaging Systems, Eastman Kodak Company.
To compete in today's volatile photo market, photo dealers and minilab owners will need to aggressively scale down their capital investment and labor expenses associated with a declining print volume base and declining price per print. The average imaging dealer will only be able to afford about 20-25% of the overhead they have today in 2008, when the market is roughly 80% digital. Additionally imaging retailers need to spread their investments to a broader range of printing solutions from home printers to low cost minilabs to kiosks and online solutions.
Each of these solutions requires some capital investment on the part of retailers and as the number of solutions available to consumers expands, retailers must be careful not to over-invest in any one solution.
Moving forward, we will continue to see innovation in the digital capture category, to make it easy for consumers to take high quality pictures and print them.
For digital cameras, video capabilities will continue to improve; we've already made a fantastic start with our V550 and V530 cameras. Additionally, we expect EasyShare One, with its Wi-Fi capabilities, to be a big benefit to consumers, and will continue to look for new breakthrough ways for consumers to take and share pictures.
On the printing front, we will continue to make it easy for consumers to print their digital pictures, whether at retail, home, or online. Kiosks continue to grow rapidly, and we expect that to continue. In addition, kiosk functionality will continue to expand, [to include] such as broader connectivity and enhanced consumer interface.
And with home printing, expect to see more cameras hard-bundled to printers, for an easy consumer experience.
In the online world, look for more ways to do more things with your pictures, which can either be delivered to home or picked up at retail, as well as opportunities to monetize unprinted images.
The industry historically has made most of its profit selling devices (cameras) image capture, consumables (film), or 4x6 prints. In the future with the switch from a 'capture -> print -> select' model, to a 'select -> save/store -> print' model, we will need to create consumer value and profit pools from custom output (calendar, mugs, posters, and from unprinted images (subscription services for storing and sharing unprinted images).
Additionally the industry needs to stop developing closed loop solutions that limit consumer options/locations for printing/sharing their images. Greater access to images beyond the original shooter will yield more profits in the end for the industry.
Industry Must Encourage Consumers To Print Images
John Lang, President and CEO, Epson America, Inc.
As the digital camera becomes a fixture of our modern culture, consumers are creating a flood of images. Unfortunately, many of these may never be printed, which means a whole generation of images is at risk of being lost. Even if consumers are backing up their images on discs, they still have to sift through thousands of files to find the one they want, which is no simple task. And as the years go by, there is no guarantee that storage media or file formats will stay the same, or that people will be able to locate a particular file.
One of the simplest ways to avoid losing images is to print them. I believe the industry as a whole must take on the responsibility of educating consumers about the importance of printing their images. With today's advancements in print permanence, prints can last for years to come, so consumers will be able to look at the images we have encouraged them to print without having to worry about changes in technology.
While we want to be sure that we help consumers save their precious memories, it's also important to remember that more prints means more profits for the entire industry. With the explosive growth of digital cameras, including the growth of digital SLR cameras, there are unlimited opportunities, both for printing at home and printing at retail, to flourish. While there are also opportunities for retailers to sell devices to view images, the priority should be making more prints. By promoting not only retail printing services but also the hardware and supplies to enable consumers to print at home, photo retailers can profit from both.
Building Business In The Digital Age
Atsushi Yoneda, President and CEO, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc.
At Fujifilm U.S.A., we have built the infrastructure to support the digital print at retail market, which is accelerating rapidly. We believe the print can be the backbone of the photo retailer and minilab, now, just as it was in the film era.