GoPro works to stem losses with 'connected and convenient' Hero5

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2016
Facing increasingly fierce competition in the industry it helped create, GoPro this week announced plans to simplify its product line and innovate on usability, with what CEO Nick Woodman called "the most connected and convenient GoPro we have ever made."


GoPro's Hero4 Session has become a best seller after a rocky introduction.


A significant year-over-year decline in revenue has sent GoPro leadership into damage control mode, and the first order of business is to axe the lower-end Hero, Hero+, and Hero+ cameras. The range will now start at $200 with the Hero4 Session, then run upwards to the $400 Hero4 Silver and $500 Hero4 Black.

The long-awaited Hero5 will makes its debut later this year, Woodman revealed during GoPro's earnings call, though it's not clear exactly what "later" means. When it does arrive, it will be the first GoPro to benefit from the company's new strategy of paying closer attention to how its cameras fit into a broader ecosystem of devices.

"In terms of doubling down in hardware we are ensuring that any new and existing hardware products do a better job of connecting to smartphones and the cloud," Woodman said. "Any advancements in software will be matched at the hardware level."

Those software advancements will come in the form of a new "GoPro for Desktop" application that makes it easier for consumers to collate, organize, and edit their GoPro footage. Woodman promised "an entirely new editing experience...[that] will make it easy to create strikingly good edits in a matter of minutes," along with the ability to easily share footage to social media platforms.

The originator of the "action cam" format, GoPro is now just one of a dozen companies selling rugged cameras for sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Everyone from Sony to China's Xiaomi has gotten into the game, driving prices -- and consequently, margins -- down.

GoPro also announced that its forthcoming Karma drone will be available this summer, and that the company is aiming for a "significantly differentiated" UAV experience.

"I think that we're uniquely positioned to be successful out of the gates with Karma given the strength of GoPro's brand in the drone category," Woodman said. "The drone category -- the consumer drone category really took off not because of drones but because of people attaching GoPro's to drones."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    I think everyone who wants one already bought one. and there is not need to go to the next level in recording technology, it good enough where it is. Here is one personal observation, went skiing last week and only saw one group of kids using go-pro on a stick to record what they were doing. In the past I have seen a lot o people with go-pro and similar on the slots recording themselves, I think the fad is starting to wind down. There is nothing new about recording oneself and no one is now interested in see the next kids doing some sort of stupid thing on the slops or bike trails or what every activity they maybe up to. We all seen the video and is not longer interesting, even the stupid Russian driving video are no longer interesting to watch.
    mejsric
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Personally, I lost interest in GoPro when my Mountain Biking friends describe the amount of time it had taken them to convert 4 hours of video to feature the highlights of their ride in a short 5 minute video. The concept is pretty cool, but I'd rather spend my time having fun and editing video is fun to some, just not me. So, I feel GoPro's market is first time buyers and a very limited upgrade market.
    xzu
  • Reply 3 of 20
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,453member
    If Facebook and other social media sites like it prove anything, it's that people are interested in putting up video of everything trivial thing in their lives.   And if the amount of selfie sticks proves anything, it's that people do want to photograph or video themselves all the time, even doing things having nothing to do with action.

    GoPro created a market and they do have an incredible eco-system.  Walk into any remaining decent photography store and it's amazing how much space is taken up with GoPro's own accessories as well as third-party accessories made for the GoPro.

    But GoPro definitely has problems.   I don't know which model it was, but my brother threw a GoPro into my lap and said, "figure it out".   Totally non-intuitive - I couldn't even figure out how to start recording and I'm a long-time photographer and videographer.    And if they think the action camera market is crowded, the drone market is even more crowded and has the added disadvantage of being subject to government regulation and being more of a niche.   Limiting the line to only the more expensive models could also be a mistake as many of these are purchased by parents for their kids and $500 seems like a lot of money so your kid could take skateboarding videos. 

    Like almost everything, the value-add is primarily in the software and if GoPro can create great software, that will give them an advantage over the look-a-likes.   

    What I also think they have to do is to create a model for ordinary photography/video that has clear quality advantages over recording video on a phone.   Originally focusing on the action market was a smart way to differentiate themselves, but now they've also got to differentiate themselves from other action cameras.   Nikon and a few other companies are about to release 360º action cameras.  

    Another idea would be for them to create software that permits live action feeds from multiple GoPro cameras at once so that you can essentially create a live show and edit in real time.   Maybe the software records both the switched output and the individual camera feeds at the same time so one could re-edit later.   

    And maybe they should also design cases for smartphones that make them largely indestructible, waterproof and attachable to all matter of mounts, clothing, etc. so one could turn any smartphone into an action camera.   
  • Reply 4 of 20
    I too had saved up money to buy GoPro during past Christmas, but with wide ranges of product offering, and Costco still pushing Hero 3+ it was just too confusing to which one to buy, I just decided to hold the purchase and maybe I am a lost customer for GoPro last year. But, who knows, maybe I might re-evaluate again with GoPro 5.

    GoPro variety of offerings reminded me of Apple Computers and how Steve pared down to very few which made a whole lot of sense for consumer and Apple too. GoPro need to do that also. Secondly, I think GoPro 5 needs to be come down to be small enough and maybe become a body cam so that they can not only target consumer, but also public safety personnels.  
  • Reply 5 of 20
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Apple used to have the problem with too many models too.

    They corrected tht plus numerous other issues they had.

    Probably keeping around 3 to 4 tops is the way to go plus a few accessories.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    sandorsandor Posts: 523member
    GoPro has a long history in what they do. Remember, there was a 35 mm GoPro video camera... But, even in the time since i bought my GoPro HD Hero in 2011 (for $240 on Amazon) the availability of video recording to the masses has been broken wide open. And, honestly, i have no need to upgrade because i can record 1080p, battery life is long enough & size isn't a big issue in my needs. In a larger market-wide change, no longer is GoPro the solution when you don't want the mass of a HandyCam or other camcorder (do people even recognize the term camcorder any more?!?) Rather, people who may have bought a GoPro prior are now content with the HD video their phone gives them. So the market shrinks. I do think GoPro is very late to the photographic/videographic drone arena, so Karma better blow everyone else out of the water. I'm talking waterproof, 30+ minute battery life, 4k video, tethering, obstacle avoidance route & shot planning and more - and keep it at $750 or under. Without this, i think they are looking at a continually decreasing core of users.
    linkman
  • Reply 7 of 20
    The human race is continuously reproducing. It's not a dying fad. it's a niche but one that will continue. It's not `good enough' quality. People will replace them less frequently if you don't put higher and higher quality capabilties.
    aylk
  • Reply 8 of 20
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,161member
    sog35 said:
    GoPro is a dying fad. Sure their still will be some of the hardcore users but I don't think it will ever take mainstream.

    The cheap knock-off brands are just as good to many people.  And why use a GoPro if your smartphone camera is just as good or better?

    Just another example of Wall Street pumping and then dumping a stock. Stock is down almost 90% from its highs just 6 months ago.
    I don't think GoPro is a dying fad. They made the mistake releasing an inferior camera (Hero 4 Session) at the cost of one of their better cameras. GoPro video blows away the iPhone. There is no comparison. The GoPro Hero 4 has a better image quality than the iPhone as well.  GoPro is small and compact with a ton of mounts. Who's going to mount an iPhone on a surfboard? The main reason to use a GoPro is the wide angle for action. You can't do that with a smart phone. I use my GoPro every time I travel and I love it.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    sog35 said:
    GoPro is a dying fad. Sure their still will be some of the hardcore users but I don't think it will ever take mainstream.

    The cheap knock-off brands are just as good to many people.  And why use a GoPro if your smartphone camera is just as good or better?

    Just another example of Wall Street pumping and then dumping a stock. Stock is down almost 90% from its highs just 6 months ago.
    Shouldn't you be telling us how Go Pro's CEO has failed the company, should be fired and should be replaced ASAP due to the company's stock price dropping nearly 90% during the last 6 months?

    Or, is your diatribe ONLY reserved for Tim Cook?
    flaneurnolamacguyjohn.bmacky the macky
  • Reply 10 of 20
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    Personally, I lost interest in GoPro when my Mountain Biking friends describe the amount of time it had taken them to convert 4 hours of video to feature the highlights of their ride in a short 5 minute video.
    That is a challenge for the average user. In order to make the video interesting you need shots from different perspectives not just a handlebar mount. You really have to be thinking about the story you want to tell before and while shooting, not just after the fact. It is not surprising people lose interest because it is hard work to both shoot good clips and to edit it down.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 11 of 20
    schlackschlack Posts: 695member
    for a long time, i've been wondering how go pro could justify its valuations by selling what is mostly commodity hardware...took longer than i imagined for the competition to step up.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    They've had their 15 minutes seconds of fame. Done. Over.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    They've had their 15 minutes seconds of fame. Done. Over.
    Apparently they missed the opportunity to sell body cameras to law enforcement. That would have been a perfect product for them.
    edited February 2016 hmm
  • Reply 14 of 20
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member
    GoPro is walking that fine-line between failure and success.  The market is flooding with cheap, Chinese knockoffs that for many are "good enough", and couple that with GoPro's failure of recent introductions.  They're really screwing up.  

    I liken it to something similar that Blackberry went through.  They were king of the smartphones, then they got cocky, dismissed the competition, and continued with inferior software.  GoPro is just like that.  

    I tried a friend's GoPro with the intent of filming some motorcycle riding and frankly, I'm glad I didn't buy it for myself.  GoPro is just not intuitive and a pain for the novice to use.  They better make it easy to use, both the hardware and the software side or they will be as insignificant soon as Blackberry is.

    Get your act together!! 
  • Reply 15 of 20
    The human race is continuously reproducing. It's not a dying fad. it's a niche but one that will continue. It's not `good enough' quality. People will replace them less frequently if you don't put higher and higher quality capabilties.
    Like with the human race? ;)
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Just like the iphone there is a new one every year, but there doesn't have to be. I have one but doesn't use it often, took some cool pool video with it, and pictures, but the case seemed to fog up. All the addons are expensive, you need a handle for it or some way to hold it, humidity strips so it doesn't fog up. its hard to find the timer to take a picture, it could be a lot better. I agree with the editing but that's what your doing, making a video. It should be smaller, easier to hold, and better at taking pictures.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    I tried out several cameras, including all the GoPro range. I settled on the Xiaoyi Yi Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Action Camera at £40.00 as this matched or exceeded the performance of all the GoPro's except the insanely expensive 4K model. 4K will not be on my radar for quite a while yet.

    These cameras will get higher resolutions, improved features and lower prices over the next year or two. Really makes me wonder why people still buy shoddy CCTV Web-Cams and security cams at over twice the price and 1/4 the quality.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    The range will now start at $200 with the Hero4 Session, then run upwards to the $400 Hero4 Silver and $500 Hero4 Black.
    This happened two months ago.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    It's only a matter of time for software and smartphone processing power to incorporate GoPro's tech into a smartphone.  GoPro's lens aren't that impressive anymore.
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