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Research Disproves Theory That Millennials Are Not Interested in Printing Photos

Print & Imaging Market Research, Analysis and Commentary

The traditional imaging landscape has seen phenomenal technological transition over the past two decades. As smartphones now dominate the global capture of images, motivations and storage needs of consumers are changing. These trends are assessed in detail in the latest Imaging Ecosystem Consumer Research report by Futuresource. Covering France, Germany Spain, UK (EU-4) and the USA, the report investigates how consumers capture, store, edit, share and print their photos.


Futuresource Consulting explored consumer interest in the preservation of memories by the physical printing of photos. "The findings of the report have disproved a theory that the younger generation are not interested in photo printing. In fact, the millennials were the most likely age group to be printing photos, with 61% either printing at home or using a third-party printing services," says Ruben Baveld, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

From a EU-4 country level, the German and Spanish markets demonstrated the strongest preference for printing photos.

It is clear from the market trends shown within the report that the intent to capture, preserve and share memories and communicate about them has intertwined, with different demographics using social media platforms for different purposes.

Sharing Photos on Social Media Ingrained in People's Lives

Over 90% of all EU 4 respondents were members of some form of social media platform, 75% use Facebook and 50% use What's App. What's App was much more popular with Spanish and German consumers for photo sharing, reflecting the popularity of Android smartphones in these markets.

Millennials were nearly twice as likely as the overall respondent base to be using Instagram to share photos. A third of EU 4 respondents had shared videos via social media.

When it came to sharing photos on social media, close to a third of respondents indicated that receiving feedback on social media was one of the prevalent motivations for taking photos. However, overall the 'core' reason for sharing photos on social media, conducted across all age groups, was to preserve a memory.


With the increasing number of photos being taken, storage is becoming an ever-more important need for consumers. Cloud-based storage is seen by many in the industry as the answer to this, but when comparing the data across all age ranges, the use of cloud-based storage is limited, only 8% of all photos captured are stored in the cloud. When we delve deeper, the Spanish market bucks this trend, with a higher than average adoption rate of cloud-based photo storage, utilising platforms such as Google Drive, iCloud or DropBox, at just under 18%.

When comparing the different demographics, there was a clear difference in the reasoning for not using cloud storage. The Millennials (16-35 yrs.) cited reasons surrounding security concerns and for the older demographics it was about a lack of understanding concerning cloud storage.

In these latest reports, Futuresource captures the imaging journeys and behaviours of consumers, following different life-stages from Millennials through to the over 55s. It looks into what devices, platforms and technologies consumers use to capture, edit and preserve memories and poses questions relating to the motivations that urge consumers to share stories and capture memories of their lives on social media.

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Jeremy Wills

About the author

Jeremy Wills

Jeremy joined Futuresource Consulting in 2001. He holds a degree in French from Kings College, University of London. Jeremy is a member of the Professional AV team. He focuses on Signal Distribution, Meeting Room Control, AV Managed Services, Interactive Displays, Professional Lighting and Esports.

In previous Futuresource roles, Jeremy was part of the Imaging team covering consumer camera and photo output markets and, prior to this, a member of the Home Entertainment team, tracking the global pre-recorded media manufacturing and storage media sectors. Jeremy has managed two research and analysis teams during his years with Futuresource, as well a wide variety of syndicated and custom research projects.

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