New research looks at the options for photo app developers to monetize their apps by offering photo print products — and finds it can bring awareness as well as revenue.
Suite 48 Analytics says its Photo Output App Market study shows that “smartphone apps that print photos are doing more than delivering an increasing share of print vendors’ revenues — they’re also attracting new customers who haven’t previously engaged in printing.”
For example, more than 20 percent of mobile app customers at Snapfish were new are new to the company, and more 50 percent of European photo product vendor CeWe’s first-time mobile purchasers are new customers, Suite 48 notes.
“This new trend upends the conventional wisdom that smartphone photographers are only interested in sharing photos through social networks or messaging platforms, and are therefore not a potential market for printed photo products such as photo prints, photobooks, photo postcards, or photo-enriched phone cases,” says analyst Hans Hartman.
It’s not all good news however — it is a challenge for photo printing app developers to generate awareness and sizable download numbers for their apps: median downloads to date are only 62,000 and just 20% of the apps have been downloaded more than 500,000 times. (By comparison, even today’s 100th ranked photo category app in the US iOS app store has had more than 1 million downloads.) “Smartphone photographers might not even be aware that they can order output products unless the feature is visible someplace where they frequently engage with their photos, such as in an app for image enhancement or one for photo organization,” Hartman adds.
The 68-page study analyzes 137 photo product apps, and is available here.