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Announcing: the COVID-19 Mitigation and What’s Next Survey report

Hans Hartman

 By Hans Hartman
Chair at Visual 1st

[Scroll down for And a few more things… industry news highlights]

Before you download the free report, below is a quick recap why and how we’ve conducted our survey among photo & video industry executives.

It’s hard to describe the impact COVID-19 has had so far without sounding like a broken record –the one you keep hearing over and over in the news, or when talking with colleagues, customers or industry partners. In many parts of the world the human tragedy and economic impact are such that they were, until recently, unfathomable – and we are not even close to seeing the end of the tunnel.

Like so many other industries that rely on humans being in near proximity to each other when producing, selling or consuming products or services, our photo and video industry is suffering. Worldwide digital camera sales dropped 53% YoY in March; worldwide smartphone sales dropped 12% YoY in Q1, their largest Q1 decline ever. Many photo printing plants and photo retail stores were forced to close, 75% of the commercial photographers/videographers believe that 80% or more of their jobs have been cancelled; school yearbook companies have missed their most important season; photo & video tradeshows and conference have been cancelled or postponed – and the list goes on.

You don’t need this report to have it rubbed in how unprecedentedly bad this all is. But where we believe we can help is by enabling all of us to develop new ideas and get inspired by how our fellow photo/video ecosystem executives are responding to the crisis, whether they’re helping their COVID-stricken communities, deploying measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis, or rethinking their entire business strategy in order to position themselves as well as possible for the aftermath. And yes, some of them do see a silver lining and have inspiring suggestions that they’re willing to share with their industry colleagues.

When you read their comments, note that nobody pretends to have the ultimate answer – we’re all figuring out the best course of action as we go along, while the situation keeps changing on a daily basis.

As quite a few of you have already shared your experiences and perspectives directly with my partner Alexis Gerard or me, we decided to more proactively gather opinions from throughout the broader photo and video ecosystem and share these in the form of a free report. To this purpose we ran the COVID-19 Mitigation and What’s Next Survey from April 15 to May 1, which we promoted not only to our Visual 1st Perspectives readers, but also through the help of these trade associations: piv (Photoindustrie-Verband)The Imaging Alliance, and IPI. Many thanks!

Representatives of 53 companies from different parts of the photo & video ecosystem and even different parts of the world (see chapter 2) responded and took the time to share their experiences and perspectives. We do realize that we asked them to share their take on sensitive – to some extent painful and still unsettled – topics, and we are very much indebted to them for doing so!

Note that the majority of the survey consists of answers to open questions, which are not always easy to summarize, nor necessarily applicable to all photo or video ecosystem vendors. But they don’t have to be. You’ll be able to read their comments verbatim, learn from the ones that apply to your situation, get inspired and hopefully use the insights to your benefit!

Note also that the respondents had the option to indicate whether they were open to have their comments attributed to them or preferred these to be treated anonymously (they could indicate this separately for each of the 3 main sections: Impact, Mitigation, and Silver Lining / Suggestions).

Download the free report here!

And a few more things…

ON1. Device syncing. Software maker ON1, the developer behind the ON1 Photo RAW 2020 software, launches ON1 360°, a service to make photos available on different devices by uploading a compressed RAW version of the photos temporarily available in the cloud until they’re synced to the different devices. I.e. no need to permanently store your files in the cloud.

Apollo & Vistaprint. Apollo likes printing. After acquiring Shutterfly and SnapfishApollo Global Management Inc. is now investing $300 million in Cimpress, the parent of Vistaprint and other commercial printing entities. An indication for more print consolidation down the road?

Mojo Vision. Funding AR contact lenses. We covered Mojo Vision’s CES prototype of their AR-enabled contact lenses earlier this year. Apparently, investors believe it’s more than sci-fi. Now the company raised an additional $51M, totaling $159M to date.

AR Cut & Paste. Cool, cooler, coolest. The way to get 2000+ (and counting) comments on LinkedIn? Develop something really cool and post the source code on GitHub. Take a photo of an object through the smartphone app, drag the photographed object in an AR fashion to your computer’s Photoshop screen and paste it there.

PicsArt. 1 billion downloads. Past Visual 1st presenter, PicsArt now has 1 billion downloads. And there is no slowing down: on App Annie today it lists 6th among the free iOS photo & video apps, right below YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitch and above Google Photos.

Beamr & Intel. Embedding. In partnership with Intel, past Visual 1st presenter, Beamr now embeds its hardware video encoding technology inside the Intel Gen 11 graphics engine.

MailPix. Adding print productsMailPix’s 1 Hour Photo app adds new photo print products for pickup at their retail partners: acrylic prints (CVS), canvas prints, mounted prints, posters (Walmart), and canvas prints (Walgreens).

allcop. COVID masks. Germany-based allcop now offers 3-layer, brand-customizable COVID-19 masks for companies to supply to their employees.

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Best,

Hans Hartman

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