That tiny camera on the left costs just $129. Source:
cameras aren’t just for action junkies anymore. At least, that’s
the message GoPro is trying to send with its refreshed line of
cameras, the Hero4. The new line of Heroes includes two high-end
action cameras capable of shooting high-frame-rate
high-definition video, and one budget model that costs just
That third camera should get investors excited. The $129 price
is sure to attract the attention of people with a GoPro on their
holiday wish list. In fact, that price point makes GoPro a very
attractive option for anyone considering buying a stand-alone
But selling more cameras is only the start for GoPro.
Is there really a low-end market?
Smartphones have largely replaced our point-and-shoot cameras.
They’ve gotten remarkably good in the last few years at shooting
pictures and video. They can even take high-frame-rate video, and
have all sorts of other technical features that make capturing
great photos easy. What’s more, they’re almost always on us,
ready to capture the moment.
But you might be hesitant to do what GoPro’s cameras are
designed to do with a $750 smartphone. You can stick a GoPro in
places a smartphone probably wouldn’t like (for example, your
dog’s collar). You can take them underwater, too. Additionally,
GoPros have a 170-degree wide-angle lens, which makes it easy to
capture any situation.
At $129 users don’t have to worry as much about hurting these
cameras, which are designed to take some hits. That makes for
more experimentation, more exciting content, and more YouTube
views on GoPro’s channel. And that’s where the real money is.
GoPro is a YouTube star
GoPro’s YouTube channel has nearly 600 million YouTube views. Its
average user-generated video gets over 643,000 hits. More
importantly, it’s growing rapidly. Over the last three months,
GoPro has seen its average daily video views nearly double to
over 1.3 million views per day. Over the last year, minutes
watched on the channel are up 275%.
I point this out, not because I think GoPro ought to become a
YouTube partner — 600 million views would equal about $6 million
in AdSense revenue at most — but because it points to the fact
that GoPro is a media company, not a camera company. Camera sales
are currently the way GoPro monetizes its content. Each YouTube
view is an advertisement for its cameras.
Down the road the company expects to be able to make money
directly off its content. In its S-1 filing the company noted,
“We plan to pursue new revenue opportunities from the
distribution of engaging GoPro content in the near term.”
Those new revenue opportunities could mean expanding to its
own platform to give it more control over its own content.
Alternatively, GoPro can sell the rights to its content to other
distribution platforms like cable networks or over-the-top
streaming channels. For example, The Travel Channel might be
interested in footage of water slides or zip lines for a show.
It’s cheaper (albeit less fun) to buy the rights from GoPro than
to send a crew out to film things on site.
It’s worth noting, however, that management was conspicuously
quiet about its media revenue opportunities on its most recent
conference call. Currently, GoPro is offering content for free on
YouTube, Facebook, Xbox Live, and other platforms. While some
nicely integrate the ability to buy the camera that was used to
produce the video, there’s no other means of monetizing the
No more middle ground
The new line of cameras completely revamped pricing. I’ve already
talked about the accessible $129 camera — $70 less expensive
than GoPro’s previous Hero3. The camera is likely low margin with
expectations of higher volume. But GoPro will make up for it with
additional user-generated footage to license.
The other two cameras are priced higher than the equivalent
models in the Hero3 line by $200. Without any mid-tier models,
GoPro is pushing more users to higher quality cameras, which
capture better footage. So, on one end of the spectrum you’ll see
an increase in footage volume and on the other you’ll see an
increase in footage quality. The results are both good for
GoPro’s content library.
Apple Watch revealed: The real winner is
Apple recently revealed the product of its secret-development
“dream team” — Apple Watch. The secret is out, and some early
viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod,
the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million
of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small
company makes Apple’s gadget possible. And its stock
price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know
investors. To be one of them, and see where the real money is
to be made, just
originally appeared on Fool.com.
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