Digitization v Polaroid (Part 1)
The world we are being told is going digital.
Whether it is the growth in mobile banking and electronic payments or the ever increasing rise in digital images the consumer’s appetite for all things digital seems to be limitless. Technology though is keeping up, in 2007 the first Iphone had a 4gb memory, in 2016 the top model as a 256GB memory, that’s a 114 times growth in less than 10 years.
And we all know the story of Kodak that once strong make of films, that simply found its business disappear. So surely the world is all about digital and there is no place for the physical. Well it seems this might not be case. Take books, yes those funny paper things a few people ready, well actually it is a few more than you think. From 2009 to 2014, bookstore sales through the first half of the year fell more than 28% in the USA. The first half of 2015 saw sales pop nearly 2%, and through the first six months of 2016, bookstore sales have jumped more than 6%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
And this is not the only place we can find that consumers are harking back to the physical. Fujifilm, one of the last makers of instant film cameras, sold 5 million of its Instax cameras last year, a 30% increase over 2014. In 2016 it expected to sell some 6.5 million. But why we all ask, surely everyone has a smart phone, we can snap that selfie, post it on Facebook or whatever other social media platform of our choice, why would anyone want a picture.
Music, even the charts now are live with downloads counted until 6pm on the night they are released, but we have also seen Vinyl sales topping three million last year, the highest UK total in 25 years. More than 3.2 million records were sold in 2016, a rise of 53% on the previous year, according to the BPI, which represents the music industry. Okay so Vinyl still only accounts for 2.6% of the overall music market – and while it continues to enjoy a resurgence, sales of CDs are falling rapidly.