The capture and sharing of images is a dynamic market that has transformed over the past decade and is continuing to change. Technology innovation and social media have driven the "democratisation" of content creation and consumption and a sustained demand for new and replacement products.

This dynamic market has been transformed over the past decade and will continue to change. Driven by social media and technological innovation, image capture and content creation has grown exponentially, with millions of videos and still images taken and shared every day. This drives sustained demand for new and replacement products as customers take advantage of new technologies.

Our focus is on supplying a wide range of premium products for broadcasters, cinematographers, independent content creators, photographers and videographers to enable them to capture and share content. This content can be video footage or still images and can be produced in a studio, on location, in an enterprise or at home.

We position our brands at the premium end of the market with technically advanced products. We are focused on developing new products to enable our customers to think and work differently, to capture and create world-class content in multiple ways.

Multiple new image capture devices plus

Imaging technology has continued to improve. Many different devices now enable customers to “capture the moment”.

In the cine and broadcast markets, some cameras now film in 4K and have high quality recording capabilities. In the professional photography market, many cameras can shoot video as well as stills. There has also been the emergence of small, lighter interchangeable cameras, known as compact system or mirrorless cameras.

Continued technological enhancements mean that premium mirrorless cameras, drones, action cameras and smartphones have been adopted by customers as complementary equipment to traditional cameras. However, the built-in viewfinders and audio in those devices is not high quality. Using small viewfinders does not make it easy to detect artefacts and poor audio deteriorates the video.

This has opened up further opportunities for Vitec to develop and commercialise innovative products that enable a creative to obtain the best results from additional equipment. Technology has enabled streaming of content to mobile devices and for viewfinders to be Organic Light-Emitting Diode (“OLED”) to enable monitoring on high quality screens. Creative Solutions has led the market with OLED and daylight viewable monitors. Imaging Solutions has developed a comprehensive range of products designed for use with mirrorless cameras such as Manfrotto and Gitzo Befree tripods, and JOBY compact tripods with smartphones.

Proliferation of new media platformsplus

Proliferation of new media and growth of third party streaming applications has resulted in a significant increase in video consumption, and thus video creation.

Creatives must deliver content to more platforms and devices than ever before to build brand awareness and retain their audience. Free streaming platforms such as YouTube Live allow content creators to stream live to mobile devices.

In addition, online platforms such as Netflix and Amazon continue to increase spending on original content. To encourage subscriptions, these platforms have invested in high production values akin to traditional films.

This has driven the growth of independent and owner/operator producers and of traditional production companies that typically purchase or rent equipment. Smaller production companies and ICCs require more affordable products.

Our products are designed to meet the needs of these ICCs and companies producing premium content for streaming productions.

Vitec provides a wide range of mobile equipment such as Manfrotto and JOBY compact tripods and monopods, Litepanels portable lights and Manfrotto and Lowepro carrying solutions, while Teradek’s Live:Air production suite offers a comprehensive video mixer for mobile devices.

Wireless video transmissionplus

Growth in the use of wireless devices to transmit data and images on “connected devices”, whether through WiFi, cellular networks or proprietary video networks.

The cost-effectiveness, flexibility, range and quality of video data encoders, decoders and related components allows users to monitor and transmit at increasingly lower cost and improved workflow. The flexibility that wireless video gives in creating interesting content from new angles, together with the cost savings from reduced labour will encourage the wider adoption of wireless cameras.

Our acquisition of Amimon will enable Vitec to control the underlying technology that is used in our existing Teradek encoders and decoders. We also plan to transfer the Amimon technology to other areas of the “image capture and content creation” market to stimulate the wider adoption of wireless – for example in broadcast sports.

Changes in distribution channelsplus

Continued growth in digital distribution channels for products for photographers, videographers and independent content creators.

This has stimulated increased demand from new customers, particularly in emerging economies where e-commerce provides easier and faster access to a wider range of products and tutorial information.

As well as pure e-tailers such as Amazon and JD.com, established outlets such as B&H Foto and Electronics Corp also have a strong online presence. As a result, there has been a decline in the number of photo speciality stores and more recently, consolidation, among consumer electronics stores as they seek to reduce costs to compete with pure e-tailers.

Vitec Imaging Solutions has adapted to the change in distribution channels. In 2018, approximately one-third of its revenue came from on-line platforms and its largest customer is an e-tailer.

Further technology innovationplus

4K resolution adoption has increased rapidly, with Netflix, Amazon, Sky and Apple all offering 4K Ultra HD streaming services.

As adoption grows around the globe, studios and video cameras are being upgraded with new technology resulting in increased demand for our high-end products and software to accommodate the new formats.

The adoption of 4K video technology to both DSLR and compact system cameras is attracting a growing number of creatives who can now produce high quality visual content in either still or motion picture formats with highly dependable, portable and affordable equipment. This positive trend is expected to further consolidate with the evolution of 4K into 8K technology which will enable the extraction of high resolution still images from video assets.

Exciting and unusual contentplus

Content creators are increasingly keen on novel viewing angles to capture innovative and differentiated content.

Traditional broadcasters and rights holders such as the International Olympic Committee, welcome the opportunity to show original shots. This can enable them to differentiate their content from other broadcasters and to increase viewing figures.

News crews need to be able to “capture the moment” by being able to deploy their equipment quickly and efficiently.

Independent content creators are keen to deploy new tools such as sliders, gimbals and drones to make their content more interesting. For example, using time lapses and hyper lapses.

Vitec has pioneered the use of the new Dual Mini Remote Head which supported high motion cameras at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. It was also engaged to provide unique images from the 2018 World Cup for through-the-net football replays.

Vitec’s carbon-fibre Flowtech tripod is popular for electronic news gathering and with independent content creators. It allows much faster and easier camera deployment to “capture the moment”.

Vitec’s acquisition of Syrp adds sliders and motion control capabilities to the Group. This will enable us to develop products that offer “dynamic stabilisation” such as gimbals.