The first year of GoPro’s Direct-To-Consumer subscription strategy was a wild success by any measure for the American producer of action cameras. Revenues in 2021 grew 30 percent year-over-year to $1.16 billion as subscriptions rose by 107 percent. The company currently has approximately 1.6 million total subscribers paying $49.99 monthly after adding 815,000 members last year.

In 2019, GoPro generated 90 percent of its revenues in traditional retail channels, a figure that dropped to 68 percent in 2020. Last year, retail produced 65 percent of company revenues while DTC rose to 35 percent of of the turnover after being nonexistent in 2019 and rising to 32 percent in 2020.

Conversely, GoPro senior executives admit that the company’s destination and international travel business, which includes duty-free shops and has historically accounted for 10 percent of the annual topline, has largely been dormant since the start of the pandemic.

At $52,626,000, the company’s net income in the fourth quarter was up by 19 percent from the year-earlier period, while revenues went up by 9 percent to $391.2 million, driven by the launch of the Hero10 Black in September 2021. In total, just over 1 million units were sold in the quarter. An estimated 94 percent ofthe  cameras sold had a retail price tag of $300 or more.

DTC sales on GoPro.com, including subscription revenue, increased 10 percent to $128 million, representing 33 percent of total revenue. Within this segment, subscription revenue totaled $16.8 million, an increase of 118 percent year-over-year. By region, sales went up by 22 percent in EMEA, by 8 percent in Asia-Pacific and by 4 percent in the Americas. The gross margin improved by 3.2 percentage points to 41.2 percent.

For the full year, GoPro’s net income of $371,171,000 compared with a loss of $66,783,000 in the previous year. The gross margin for the full year improved by 5.8 percentage points to 41.4 percent.

The total number of units sold for the year reached 3.1 million. GoPro.com DTC revenue, including subscriptions, increased by 39 percent to $392 million, representing 34 percent of total revenue. Geographically, EMEA grew by 40 percent, while Asia-Pacific rose by 31 percent and the Americas by 26 percent.

The continued push of the subscription model resulted in GoPro and Quik subscription revenues combined increasing by 131 percent to $52.9 million. The number of Quik subscribers totaled 221,000 at year-end, following the launch of the Quik editing app for non-GoPro-owners in March. 

A full-year revenue forecast for 2022 was not provided, but GoPro said unit sales are forecast to grow slightly, with rising average selling prices driving revenue. Europe is rebounding from Covid, the management indicated. The gross margin is expected to be between 40 and 43 percent, growing from the continued shift to DTC and high-margin subscriptions, with higher average selling prices. GoPro.com subscriptions are expected to increase by a further 40 percent to 2.2 million.

Nick Woodman, founder and CEO, said that GoPro plans to expand its product line again, focusing on specialized cameras that “appeal to very different user groups” than the current Hero and Max models. The new cameras are expected to use GoPro’s current technology, including the GP2 chip introduced when the Hero10 was released. Additionally, the company is increasing its software platform to include cloud capabilities and a new subscription-based desktop application.

On Feb. 1, the U.S. National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored GoPro with a 2021 Technology & Engineering Emmy® Award in the category of ”In Camera Sensor and Software Stabilization.” The jury recognized the technology underlying the HyperSmooth video stabilization. This is the second Emmy for GoPro. The company was previously recognized in 2013 for its Hero3 camera technology in the “Inexpensive Small Rugged HD Camcorder” category.