Action Cameras: a European Hit

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Action cameras are making a splash in European markets Futuresource Consulting reports, with 2013 sales worth €117 million set to grow to €361m by 2017 with a CAGR of 11%.

Action CameraSuch growth contrasts with camcorder shipments, whose 2013 revenues are down by -23% compared to 2012.

"Action camera customers fall into one of two categories: consumers accounting for around 85% of the market, and professionals who make up the rest," Futuresource says. "However, consumers can be further separated into two distinct categories-- extreme sports and evidential."

Driving sales is desire of sports enthusiasts to capture and share their experiences. Action cameras also find "evidential" use, meaning the capturing of accidents for insurance-related reasons. Meanwhile "professional" customers include media organisations wanting low-cost, quasi-disposable means of capturing interesting shots.

However growth for the device category might be shortlived-- future developments in rugged and waterproof smartphones might cannibalise into sales.

On a territorial basis, the UK makes nearly 50% of European sales due to a large early adopter market and the popularity of social networks relative to other markets.

In the vendor rankings GoPro is on top with nearly 66% of sales. Making the 2nd tier are specialists such as Ion, Contour and drift, followed by generalists Sony and JVC.