After a rough year that has seen its stock plummet and revenue decline, GoPro has a new strategy to turn its fortunes around: the company plans to create original content by leveraging the filmmaking prowess of its users.
The action camera maker is planning to launch new subscription-based cloud and software services that will make it easier for users to download and edit their footage while creating a new stream of revenue for the company.
"Is there an opportunity to provide a fee-based service, subscription service? For sure!" GoPro CEO Nick Woodman told Variety. Woodman's firm is a member of Inc.'s Founders 40 list of newly public companies. "Imagine when all of that content is managed in our cloud, and you've given us rights to license it and monetize it on your behalf."
The San Mateo, California, company plans to enter the world of content later this year and in early 2017 with the launch of 32 short-form shows, according to Variety, which reported the company's turnaround plans on Wednesday. The company will make use of its high-quality action footage to create a variety of shows ranging from travel to family-themed programs.
"We went from a ton of amazing one-off viral videos to being a little bit more of a series-based production company," said GoPro's Joe Lynch to Variety. Lynch is a part of GoPro's entertainment unit.
The need for growing revenue from content arose as a result of recent product stumbles. Last year, GoPro's Hero 4 Session camera had a terrible July launch and ultimately had to undergo a price cut. This year, the company has had to delay the launch of its upcoming drone, sending investors into a frenzy. Aside from poor launches, there are also worries that GoPro has simply saturated its market--many consumers are fine with filming on their smartphones.
The big bet now is that existing users will be willing to pay extra for editing software and cloud storage services and that high-quality content will be able to tap into the holy grail of ad dollars.
Thus far, it doesn't seem that investors are too impressed with the company's turnaround plan--GoPro's stock price was down 2 percent on Wednesday. But venturing into content as a way to jumpstart revenue is a plan that won't happen overnight. GoPro is eyeing the execution of this strategy to take place over many quarters, if not much longer.
"It takes many, many years to change a business model," GoPro President Tony Bates told Variety. "We as a company need to be realistic that monetizing content is a whole different approach. I think what we are building is the optionality to do it."