HOME IS WHERE THE PRINTER IS ….

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HOME IS WHERE THE PRINTER IS ….

 user 2006-08-02 at 11:24:00 am Views: 63
  • #16053

    Home Is Where The Printer Is, For Now
    It’s somewhat of an open secret that the photofinishing industry relies on high-margin ink, toner and other supplies sales for profit. But consumers are starting to demand more for their money, according to a study announced today.“More and more people are questioning the cost of ink,” says Sandra Collins, the analyst who wrote the report for digital-imaging research firm InfoTrends. “They’re looking for faster and less expensive [printing] options.Most consumers are interested in doing their printing at home–about 60% of digital prints were made at home last year. But home photo printers burn through ink and can take up to 60 seconds to make just one picture. Ordering prints from a Web site or a retail stores like Wal-Mart or Costco–where prints are delivered either through the mail at a huge discount or get spit out in ten seconds or less and cost about 12 cents each–is quicker and a better value, Collins says.According to the InfoTrends report, consumers are catching on. The number of people who print at home is expected to fall 10% between 2004 and 2006, while retail and Web printing will grow 22%. “It’s not the majority, but it’s growing fast,” says Collins.By the end of this year, home prints are expected to decline to 53%. Continuing the trend through 2010, they are expected to account for 45% of prints. Online and retail print orders are closing in on home printing: by the end of this year, such orders will account for 41% of prints made. By 2010, they are expected to take the lead at 51%. But as much as photo-imaging companies like Eastman Kodak , Fuji Photo Film  and Hewlett-Packard  encourage consumers to print, print, print, there’s one population they’re losing: people who predominantly store their images online or on their hard drives rather than print them. In 2004, about 18% of digital photographers chose to print only 11% of the photos they took. In 2005, that percentage grew to 29%. “More and more people are only printing after a big picture event, like a wedding or vacation,” Collins says. “The days of getting pictures developed every week are over.”Overall, especially among niche markets like scrapbookers, more people are making more prints. Last year about 17 billion digital prints were made in the U.S. By the end of the decade, that number will increase to 39 billion, according to research company IDC.But even though print numbers will increase, photofinishers’ revenue won’t grow at the same pace, because prices will fall. At the end of this year, print revenue should reach $3.36 billion. That number is expected to grow to $3.97 billion in 2007 but fall to $3.72 billion in 2010.