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The Continuing Democratisation of Video

As price points of what were once referred to as “broadcast” products continue to fall, manufacturers of professional video equipment are starting to cater more and more to the wider “AV” market. This market, with its myriad verticals, is growing globally and is only just starting to embrace professional grade video on a large scale.

There are a number of reasons for this, but the unifying factor is simply that society is demanding more and more video content, particularly on social media. Think about how much video we see these days. No longer is video limited to television screens: with digital signage, social media and content embedded in websites, video is now inescapable and is an integral part of our society. This is especially true with today’s mobile technology, as smartphones allow us to have video in our pockets at all times. 

In addition to this, the availability of professional video tools at low price points and a distribution platform open to anyone, the Internet, means that the production and distribution of video has never been easier.

Video is therefore becoming increasingly important to a huge range of verticals beyond the traditional broadcast markets. Video conferencing in the corporate world, distance learning and lecture capture in education, medical training, visual radio, houses of worship, bars and nightclubs, sports clubs, gyms – these are just some of the verticals and applications where significant growth in demand for video is being seen.

Over the past ten years, where these markets have required improved levels of quality in their video production they have mostly turned to pro camcorders, which is one of the reasons why the sub $2,500 segment has been so important. In H1 2017, this segment accounted for 63% of global pro camcorder volumes.

While video acquisition has been democratised in terms of price, producing good quality content with pro camcorders still requires skill and a level of technical competence. For some applications this cannot be avoided, but for many, particularly where cameras do not need to be moved within or between locations, professional PTZ cameras* are being favoured. PTZ cameras are comparatively easy to use; they require a one-time set up (they are often mounted out of the way on ceilings and walls) and limited, simple input from an operator. In fact, the level of input can be so limited that in some cases one operator could control tens of cameras at one time in certain applications.

Price points of PTZ cameras are also comparatively low, with the vast majority of volumes shipped at price points below $3,500 and just under half of the market being sold at sub $2,000.

In FY2016, 108,800 professional PTZ cameras were shipped worldwide, with continued strong growth expected for the foreseeable future. By FY2021 the market will have grown to 149,400 units, a 37% increase from FY2016.

While broadcast is likely to remain the industry’s staple industry for the foreseeable future, falling price points and margins means that competition is only going to intensify. Many vendors will have to diversify in to these newer, emerging verticals in order to secure their futures.

Futuresource’s new Professional PTZ Camera Market Report is now available while the pro camcorder research is updated on a quarterly basis. Please contact Adam Cox at for more details about this or about Futuresource’s other research.

*Futuresource classifies professional PTZ cameras as costing over $700, and including at least one of the following connectivity types: HDMI, SDI, IP, HDBaseT, DVI, Composite or S-Video. Please note that Futuresource excludes security and surveillance cameras as well as dedicated videoconferencing solutions from its report.

About the author

Adam Cox

About Us

Here at Futuresource Consulting we deliver specialist research and consulting services, providing market forecasts and intelligence reports. Since the 1980s we have supported a range of industry sectors, which has grown to include: CE, Broadcast, Entertainment Content, EdTech and many more.