Skip to the content

Millennials Driving Demand for Photographic Prints and Photobooks

Photo Prints Market Analysis and Commentary

11 Sept 2017 - The latest figures suggest a booming photo printing industry in Western Europe, according to the imaging and printing team at Futuresource Consulting; with photo prints, photobooks and photo-merchandise presenting new and growing opportunities for this sector, already estimated to be worth around €3.2 billion annually.

"Digitalisation had previously been held responsible for a decline in photo-printing services, with photo print volumes falling below 50% of overall market value," commented Jeremy Wills, Senior Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "The lessening need to use film to capture images – with technology expanding the possibilities for photography through smartphones and other mobile gadgetry – has also been accompanied by growing opportunities to share images digitally, rather than printing them."

However, according to this latest insight, it seems that the millennial market is rediscovering the joys of physical photography, albeit in a different way to their predecessors. The opportunity for increased engagement with a printed photograph over a digital copy have been noted by this valuable audience, and it seems they're increasingly willing to spend their cash on the real thing, providing the opportunity for greatly enhanced profit margins – whether a producer or a reseller. Smaller volumes of formats such as square and 'instant style' photography sell for over €0.75 per photo, and the growth of photo-producing technology reduces the time and effort involved in creating these profitable images and photobooks.

The market tracking report highlights that online orders account for around 95% of the 25 million photographic units sold throughout 2016, with repeat customers driving demand for more pages and larger SKUs. 

The enormous volume of photographs being taken digitally (some 1.7 trillion images will be captured globally through 2017) provides a vast database of imagery for customers to choose from and for merchants to transform into photobooks, or photo-merchandise including calendars, cards, wall décor and photo gifts, all popular throughout Western Europe. The value of the photo-merchandise segment grew by 5% through 2016, with 90% of all orders placed on the internet via PCs, tablets and smartphones. 

The growth of online/mobile device ordering presents yet more opportunities for retailers, as once a buyer has customised an image they are far less likely to back out of a purchase decision. It is not yet clear which retailers will emerge victorious in the battle for dominance over the photo-printing industry, but one thing is clear – photographic printing is back in business.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

Authorised use of information All information provided by Futuresource in any form is proprietary information that belongs to Futuresource and is protected by UK and international copyright law. Except as outlined below, direct or indirect reproduction of information, in whole or in part and by any means, is prohibited without the express written consent of Futuresource. 

Members of the press may use a press release in its entirety or take segments from it as necessary; they may also use a graph, a slide, or a section of a supplied research report less than fifty words long, provided all text is identified as "Source: Futuresource Consulting" and all graphics are credited with "Futuresource Consulting, copyright 2019".

Futuresource Reports Enquiries:

Leon Morris

Futuresource Media Contact for Industry comment, Forecasting and Trends:

Nicola Finn

To view all our latest reports, please visit our Reports Portal here >>