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Action Camera Sales Will Reach Record High in 2016

Tyler Suiters, Vice President, Communications, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
What is it about action that we find so irresistible?
As kids, we absolutely adored action figures (mine was a miniature Luke Skywalker, whose plastic light sabre slid neatly into/out of his arm). Our professional lives are consumed with action items — like, “Write an action-oriented blog post” (ahem) — that shout at us from atop our to-do lists. And you can’t turn on your TV in the current campaign season without ads from political action committees urging you to take action of your own — but only for this particular candidate, of course.
Thanks to emerging digital imaging technology, we’re better armed than ever to capture all the action we enjoy in our lives. Consumer Technology Association (CTA) forecasts sales of action cameras will reach a record high in 2016 — about 2.7 million units in the U.S., nearly 10 percent above last year’s total — then break another record in 2017. And according to CTA’s holiday sales forecast, 12 percent of shoppers looking for a technology gift will or may purchase an action camera.
What’s the appeal of action cams? New CTA research shows more than half (51 percent) of U.S. online adults who have taken a photo or recorded a video with some type of camera device in the last 12 months say the most enjoyable aspect of DI is the process of capturing the moment – actually taking the images they want to remember. And these versatile tech devices allow you to capture your memories while you’re enjoying the moment (no time out from the action required).
Action cams go pretty much wherever you go — whether that’s on water skis, a snowboard, a mountain bike, a kayak or a parasail — without a second thought. Once they’re strapped on, you’re on your way! But given consumers’ strong connection between having fun and capturing fun, it’s a bit surprising that only 7 percent of those surveyed are using action cameras.
So, who are they? According to the CTA survey:
  • 66 percent of action cam users are men
  • 47 percent report advanced DI proficiency
  • 43 percent buy tech as soon as it’s available
  • 81 percent will buy another DI device in the next year
Emerging innovations, including action cams, will help stabilize the entire DI market. And the DI industry can support the process by —– are you ready for it? — taking action! Building consumer awareness and better communicating the amazing features of action cams will ease the sector’s transition from point-and-shoot cameras toward multipurpose cameras.