GoPro offered a “sneak peek” of footage captured from their new drone, and it looks great. The camera company specifies that the footage was taken with the new drone prototype, and used no post-production stabilization. The footage is impressive – and it looks like GoPro may be on its way into the consumer drone market.
GoPro’s foray into drone manufacturing may be a “make it or break it” move for the company. In July, the company told MarketWatch that they believed drones were the way to expand their business. “Privately operated UAVs are a big opportunity,” GoPro spokesman Jeff Brown told MarketWatch. “We believe the recent spike in adoption is attributable to the jaw-dropping video content generated by consumers.”
Goldman Sachs agreed with them. When Sachs initiated coverage on GoPro in July, analyst Simona Jankowski told StreetInsider that the successful growth of the company depended upon their new foray into drone manufacturing.
“…in our view GPRO’s CY16E P/E of 28X requires that GoPro sustain 20%-plus growth over the next three-plus years, which hinges on the success of its entry into the drone market in 2016 and of its content monetization. …We believe this expansion makes strategic sense, as consumer drones typically carry cameras (most often GoPro’s) to capture aerial footage, and their users have a large overlap with GoPro’s customer base,” said Jankowski. “From a financial perspective, GoPro needs to expand to an adjacency such as drones in order to maintain a 20%-plus growth rate.”
Not everyone agrees that the company will be successful. Chinese manufacturer DJI, who currently holds over 40% of the market in the US, says that building a drone is not as easy as it looks.
“Generally, creating a new drone is much harder than creating a new phone or camera,” DJI spokesman Michael Perry told MarketWatch. “The levels of quality control and testing involved are significantly harder for teams with smaller R&D teams.”
“DJI has maintained our lead in the market due to our world-leading flight controller technology based on millions of flight hours, which is hard for newcomers to replicate,” Perry said.
GoPro released the sneak peek on Wednesday after market shares of the company fell over 15%, following a missed earnings and sales forecast.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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