Top-ranking photo and video apps win with new use cases beyond photo capture, enhancement

New Suite 48 Analytics “Photo/Video App Market Study” provides an in-depth analysis of the top-ranking photo and video apps’ use cases, their developer’s characteristics and eight other variables

Main use casesWith the number of photo and video apps on the market still rapidly growing (currently at 78,000, more than twice as many as two years ago), the question is: what competitive advantages characterize the current breed of top-ranking photo and video apps? Who are they, what is their main use case, their user rating, how long have they been on the market, and what media types do they support?

To answer these and other questions the new Suite 48 Analytics Photo/Video App Market Study analyzed the top 20 photo and video apps listed in the US Google Play and Apple iTunes stores on Jan. 1 as free Android, paid Android, grossing Android, free iOS, paid iOS, or grossing iOS apps.  Supplemented with the top 20 apps recorded for the previous two months, the study provides an in-depth analysis of a total of 146 photo and video apps.

The study reports the most frequently addressed use case among top-ranking photo/video apps is what it calls “Combine” – functionality enabling the user to combine photos with other photos, video clips with other videos, or photos with videos. Combine apps also include apps that facilitate combining photos or videos with other objects, such as text, frames, stickers, or clipart. 29% of the top-ranking photo/video apps currently have Combine as the main use case, followed by 18% that primarily offer Photo Editing features.

Not only are Combine apps the largest use case category among top-ranking apps, the study’s cross-tab analysis also reveals that Combine apps differ significantly from other use case categories in that, for instance, they have a larger portion of 4.5 or higher user ratings than any other use case category.

According to Hans Hartman, president, Suite 48 Analytics, the popularity of Combine apps signifies that smartphone photographers’ needs have surpassed plain photo editing or capture: “As photos have rapidly become a prime communication medium through chat, messaging and other photo-centric communication tools, smartphone users increasingly make pragmatic decisions on how to maximize the visual impact of their photos, whether they combine them into a collage, mix them with video clips, or add text or graphical elements.“

The 59-page report includes cross-tab analysis to determine statistically significant differences for the core segments within the following variables:

  • Main use case
  • Age
  • App rating
  • Pricing
  • In-app purchasing options
  • Top-ranking on multiple OS platforms
  • Geo of developer
  • Size of developer
  • Operating system
  • Paid/free offering

The multi-user premium version of the report includes an addendum with the listings of all 146 apps analyzed for this study, links to their store description, as well as the location and estimated size of their developers.

Thumbtack study predicts 2016’s biggest wedding trends

The largest survey of U.S. couples to be married in 2016 finds couples will spend 20% more on wedding services this year, or $12,189 on average nationwide. Weddings will feature formal and intimate dinners, subtler personalizations, and interactive mementos like social-media friendly cinematic highlight videos.
Thumbtack Wedding Report Cover

Thumbtack Wedding Report Cover

Thumbtack, an online service connecting consumers with skilled professionals, released the results of its first annual Thumbtack 2016 Wedding Trends Report. Thumbtack reviewed data from hundreds of thousands of wedding requests to uncover the trends and spending habits of real couples in America.

The study includes statistics on upcoming wedding trends and unveils average pricing for wedding services both nationally and regionally.

  • 68% of couples want short highlight videos for social media, and 97% of photobooth requesters want guests to get print copies as souvenirs.
  • Candid-style photos interest 2016 couples most (83%), followed by traditional (64%), natural/outdoors (39%), and artistic photos and videos (47%).
  • The most popular photobooths will be enclosed (63%) rather than open, and videography requests increasingly focus on “cinematic” documentation.

“This year we’re seeing couples investing up to 20% more to create a memorable, classic affair,” said Ashley Brasier, Wedding Director,  Thumbtack. “The reception is the focus of this extra spending, with couples turning away from themed weddings and instead focusing on finer touches like formal plated dinners, lasercut place settings, and bold floral choices.”

Every year, hundreds of thousands of couples come to Thumbtack looking for wedding professionals across nearly 50 categories of service — from wedding planners and photographers to caterers, live bands, florists, hairstylists, and makeup artists. Couples submit requests sharing details like the size of their guest list, their style preferences, and their geographic location, so Thumbtack can match them with the best service providers for their needs.

As a result, Thumbtack’s study reveals a unique look ahead on what will trend at weddings to come this year — not just what happened at weddings last year.

2016’s Top Wedding Trends

The new theme is no theme: Couples are increasingly focusing on small details — not big themes — to set their weddings apart.

  • Highlight videos are hot — Videographers are seeing an 8% uptick in requests for highlight videos, which incorporate personalized messages from guests and are created for social sharing.
  • Laser-cut details are everywhere — Featured on invitations, place-cards, and even place mats, laser-cutting will be especially popular.
  • Cupcakes aren’t going anywhere — 10% more couples will feature cupcakes for dessert in 2016, compared to 2015, showing that this personalized touch has staying power.

2016 couples are upping the ante: This year’s couples are spending noticeably more on wedding essentials compared to 2015.

  • 20% increase in spending — The average couple will spend about $2,000 more on average, with much of that going to a more upscale dinner experience.
  • Formal receptions on the rise — For 2016 weddings, there’s been a 26% increase in couples requesting servers for formal dinner receptions, and a 32% increase in couples requesting plated meals.
  • Traditional tiers — Cakes are also getting taller than ever, with a 55% increase in couples requesting a 3-layer cake this year compared to last year.

Big, bold visuals have arrived: From wedding theme colors to bridal beauty looks, expect 2016 weddings to feature big visuals.

  • Glam beauty — More and more brides are eschewing the “safe” natural and romantic beauty look: there’s been a 75% increase in brides requesting glam hair and makeup, with touches like highlights and contouring and bold lip colors.
  • Beyond natural — Brides plan to go beyond “born with it” in 2016. The data shows a 70% increase in requests for false eyelashes and airbrushing. There’s been a 15% increase in brides planning to wear a classic veil.
  • Bright palettes — Popular colors this year include bursts of reds and bright blues, along with pops of yellow as an accent, and gray neutrals to hold it all together. Metallic accents stay popular this year, emphasizing the glam factor.

The Real Cost of Getting Married

Based on average price quoted for wedding essentials for Thumbtack weddings in 2016

National Averages – Costs and Customer Profile

$12,189: The amount the average American couple will spend on essential wedding services in 2016, excluding the venue, dress, and rings, for a wedding with 98 guests on average.
33: Average marrying age of Thumbtack couple
75%: Thumbtack couples who are employed full-time
5%: Thumbtack couples who are students
45%: Thumbtack couples who are homeowners
Top 5 Most and Least Expensive States to Get Married

Most and least states to get married
Top 5 Most Expensive States to Get Married

Connecticut – $17,211
New York – $16,305
District of Columbia – $15,835
Rhode Island – $15,233
Pennsylvania – $14,722

Top 5 Least Expensive States to Get Married

Missouri – $9,031
Nevada – $9,095
Arizona – $9,593
Kentucky – $9,712
Utah – $9,804

Top 25 Most Expensive Metro Areas to Get Married (Wedding Essentials)

New York, NY — $16,077
Philadelphia, PA — $15,434
Pittsburgh, PA — $14,287
Baltimore, MD — $14,261
Providence, RI — $13,990
San Francisco, CA — $13,734
San Jose, CA — $13,418
Cleveland, OH — $13,416
Washington, D.C.-Northern VA — $13,303
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN — $13,173
New Orleans, LA — $13,089
Boston, MA — $13,028
Miami, FL — $12,923
Los Angeles, CA — $12,709
Chicago, IL — $12,449
Milwaukee, WI — $12,197
Seattle, WA — $12,149
Detroit, MI — $11,819
Memphis, TN — $11,805
Portland, OR — $11,714
Columbus, OH — $11,692
Austin, TX — $11,519
Rochester, NY — $11,472
Charleston, SC — $11,448
Sacramento, CA — $11,349

Regional Differences

  • Northeast and Mid-Atlantic affairs tend to be more expensive: This higher cost is most often driven by formal dinners and a large number of guests. In New York, 33% of couples request plated dinners. In Washington, D.C., 48% of couples request hors d’oeuvres.
  • Midwestern states throw the biggest weddings: Weddings are the biggest in Midwestern states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, where over 60% of couples welcome 100+ guests. The smallest weddings are in destination wedding locations like Hawaii, where 43% of couples welcome fewer than 20 guests.
  • BBQ and Mexican catering vs. Italian and American cuisine: Italian and American food are crowd pleasers at weddings across the country. In fact, there are only two states that would prefer another type of cuisine at weddings – both Kentucky and South Carolina prefer BBQ. Unsurprisingly, Mexican is popular throughout the Southwest, with 43% of couples in New Mexico requesting Mexican food.
  • Pop music reigns at the reception, but country’s close behind: Wedding guests across the majority of the United States (46 states) prefer pop music, but country is a close second choice in several states, including Texas.
  • Vermont braids and Southern locks: Brides across the country love a timeless romantic look. Brides in Vermont prefer to accent their look with braids, while brides in most other locales prefer a half-up / half-down look. Long curly hair is especially popular in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Creative Exchange offers step-by-step toolkit, videos to running a successful artistic business

h2R6dlgRecognizing millions of Americans have the talent to create extraordinary art, but are held back by a lack of skills and training to make a living and a life in the arts, Creative Exchange today debuts WORK OF ART, a free, inspiring, and practical guide and video series for planning, launching, and running a successful artistic business.

Developed by St. Paul-based Springboard for the Arts, WORK OF ART is based on a series of professional development and entrepreneurship workshops that have been taught to more than 5,000 artists at arts organizations, colleges, and libraries in over 80 communities in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa since 2010.

To make the successful program accessible to artists and artisans from all disciplines nationwide, Springboard for the Arts received support from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation’s Marketplace Empowerment for Artists program to create the WORK OF ART toolkit and video series and make it available for free via Creative Exchange.

Dedicated to mobilizing the creative force of artists, Creative Exchange is a national hub that offers free toolkits, consultation, and networking aimed at helping communities collaborate with artists to creatively address local economic, social, and cultural challenges.

WORK OF ART is a 14-part workbook and video series that guides artists through every facet of building a successful and sustainable career – from career planning, time management, marketing, and social media to pricing, recordkeeping, funding, and developing a business plan (see the section descriptions below).  Designed to help new artists learn the ropes, as well as more experienced artists grow and expand, each section provides a step-by-step guide to tackling the topic, including easy-to-digest tips, best practices, useable case studies, hands-on exercises, analytical tools, checklists, and worksheets. A series of videos brings each topic to life with empowering insights and advice from artists on how they incorporate WORK OF ART strategies into their everyday work.  WORK OF ART can be used cover-to-cover or as a build-your-own lesson plan by mixing and matching the section that address specific challenges. The toolkit also includes a User Guide for making the most out of the toolkit and access to an online knowledge base that includes links to useful articles, videos, and supporting materials.  To request the free WORK OF ART toolkit, go here.

According to Laura Zabel, executive director of Springboard for the Arts and the founder of Creative Exchange, WORK OF ART fills a critical void in a profession that, until recently, placed a lower priority on teaching artists critical entrepreneurial and business skills.

“WORK OF ART is aimed at replacing the myth of the ‘starving artist’ with that of the thriving, empowered creative entrepreneur who is able to do what they love, make an impact on their world, and be valued for it,” said Zabel. “We are excited to make these critical and relevant tools available in an easy, accessible way to anyone who want to use them.”

In addition to helping individual artists, Zabel said that WORK OF ART can also be used by arts schools to supplement educational curricula and by organizations to start or enhance their own creative entrepreneurship programs.

“The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation is delighted to support the professional development work of Springboard for the Arts,” said Heather Pontonio of the Tremaine Foundation. “This WORK OF ART toolkit provides a comprehensive, adaptable, artist-focused approach to entrepreneurial development and arms artists with strategic economic and business visioning and planning skills that will contribute to their success in the marketplace. The innovative nature of this toolkit is a game-charger for artists who are not in urban environments or are not already connected to professional development resources yet have the desire to advance their artistic careers.”

The WORK OF ART sections include:

●     Career Planning
Where do you want to be both artistically and professionally? Learn how to define your values, identify key choices, and develop a plan to achieve your career goals.

●     Time Management
Discover analytical and tool-based approaches to managing your time. These tools will help you tackle hurdles related to efficiency, flexibility, and structure to help you reach your artistic goals.

●     Portfolio Kit
Your portfolio is the core of your promotional material. Focus on the essential elements: sharpening your artist statement, tailoring your artistic résumés, and selecting and formatting your work samples.

●     Marketing
Define your product, discover your target audience, make decisions about how you sell your work, and identify a budget and strategy for your artistic business.

●     Social Media Basics
Using Facebook and Twitter examples, learn core functionality, best practices, and exercises to help you build an online strategy for your artistic business.

●     Pricing
Discover an analytical approach to defining key elements that will help you calculate the costs and prices of your art for a variety of markets.

●     Recordkeeping
Learn how to track revenues and expenses, make informed projections, and gain a clearer understanding of your artistic business finances.

●     Legal Considerations  
Obtain general information about your intellectual property, contract basics, and structuring your artistic business.

●     Funding
Diversify your funding streams as well as understand the essential elements of researching and writing grants that appeal to potential funders of your art.

●     Business Plan
Learn how to prepare a simple business plan, in arts-friendly language, to help you organize all the various aspects of your artistic practice and make informed business decisions.

About Creative Exchange

Dedicated to helping communities mobilize the powerful, creative force of artists to solve local challenges, Creative Exchange is a national hub where community leaders and artists come together to share proven ideas and success stories for building stronger neighborhoods and cities. Recognizing that many local governments, community organizations, nonprofits, and arts groups lack the resources to develop innovative programs from scratch, Creative Exchange offers free toolkits, consultation, and networking to help communities collaborate with artists in replicating successful programs that creatively address economic, social, and cultural issues. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Creative Exchange is a national initiative of Springboard for the Arts. Creative Exchange is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Surdna Foundation and Kresge Foundation, with content partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and Aspen Institute Arts Program.

About the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation Marketplace Empowerment for Artists program

The Marketplace Empowerment for Artists (MEA) program supports business and entrepreneurial development and professional practices for visual artists. The Foundation seeks to empower artists with the tools to help them succeed in their field without being strictly reliant on patrons, grants or federal funding. The goal of the program is to address the broad issues of business development and community networking at the emerging and mid-career levels.

Pwinty Ltd. hires Jochen Moelle as director of business development

Pwinty LogoPwinty Ltd., Cardiff, Wales, named Jochen Moelle as Director Business Development, overseeing Pwinty’s global expansion with application partners and fulfilment service providers.

Jochen Moelle

Jochen Moelle

Moelle joins Pwinty with more than 20 years’ experience in the digital imaging industry, most recently as head of the Kodak Photo Service at Kodak Alaris. Before that, he held various leadership roles at Eastman Kodak and founded businesses in the photo imaging space.

“We are delighted to have Mr. Moelle with his wide range of international contacts and expertise on board. We look forward to growing the business even faster with him on the team,” says Tom Gallard, founder and CEO, Pwinty Ltd.

Jochen Moelle adds “I’m excited to be part of Pwinty’s team and its amazing spirit. I’m looking forward to helping drive things further in tight partnership with current and future accounts, whether on the content, the value-add, or fulfillment side.”


Collages to demonstrate image galleries, digital file sharing at Imaging USA

New Collages is mobile-capable

New Collages is mobile-capable

Collages will introduce new online image galleries and kickoff their 2016 #MakeMoments social-media campaign at the annual Imaging USA Trade Show, Jan 10-12, 2016, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The new digital-image galleries scale from small-screen smart phones to large-screen projection TVs and they load quickly, even when displaying ten thousand images.

As part of the H&H Color Lab, Collages has already re-built the technology and re-introduced its Digital Brag Books, a mobile app for professional photographers to share images and grow sales by selling the app itself. The flexible new galleries meet the needs of many different types of professional photographers. At the choice of the photographer, digital download options enable it be offered for free, on a price list or free and paid in the same gallery, but presented only to selected guests. The cart can be further customized to sell and to crop print products, or by using order-form wizards, photographers can sell albums, books, home décor and any custom product.