New parents boost sales of video cameras

Parents keen to capture their children on film are boosting sales of video cameras, new research shows.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of adults in the UK owned one by the end of last year, according to market analysts Mintel.

Mothers and fathers with a child aged one or under accounted for nearly half (48%) of video camera owners.

About a fifth of parents questioned had bought one in the previous 12 months - usually to mark the arrival of a child.

Overall video camera sales rose from 540,000 in 2000 to 960,000 last year as the gadgets gained a mass market appeal, Mintel said.

This is partly due to lower prices making home video cameras more accessible. An average price tag of £475 (€700) in 2002 dropped to £352 (€518) last year.

The sheer number of models sold in 2005 meant that, despite the falling prices, the overall market stood at £340m (€500m) – up from £260m (€383m) in 2000.

Senior Mintel analyst Matt King said: “The fall in the price of these cameras at the cheaper end of the market has also made these products accessible to many more people.

“New parents in particular have benefited from the range of cheaper video cameras on offer as many will undoubtedly want to record those special childhood moments of the early years, without breaking the bank.”

Digital video cameras are enjoying the biggest sales increases at the expense of other formats such as 8mm and VHS, Mintel’s Video Cameras report says.

They accounted for 90% of video cameras sold in 2004 – up from 80% the previous year.

About 11% of purchases in 2004 were made through the internet. This proportion is expected to increase, Mintel predicts.

The report is based on market data and a survey of 2,033 nationally representative interviewees.

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