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GoPro hits 750,000 milestone for subscription service

GoPro
(Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

The number of GoPro subscribers has surpassed 750,000, the company recently revealed in its annual report.

761,000 users became GoPro subscribers or renewed their subscriptions in 2020 – up 145% on the previous year.

• Read more: Best GoPro cameras

"GoPro's shift to a more subscription-centric consumer-direct model is resulting in a simpler, more profitable business with materially better cash generation," said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro's founder and CEO. 

GoPro initially launched the GoPro Plus subscription for cloud storage of photos for $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$6.99 per month in 2016. Users were limited to 62,500 photos or 35 hours of video (or a combination of the two).

The current GoPro subscription is better value. It's $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$69.99 per year (or $4.17 / £4.17 / AU$5.83 per month), and includes unlimited storage, full camera replacement, and up to 50% off gear at GoPro.com. That's a pretty good deal for anyone using their GoPro regularly (there are other fantastic GoPro deals to be found at the moment too).

However, GoPro is pricing the GoPro Hero 9 Black camera with a one-year subscription lower than buying the camera without the subscription, effectively offering a subsidy for those who subscribe for a year. Meanwhile, the older GoPro Hero 8 Black is the same price, with or without the subscription.

Subsequently, some may find these GoPro subscription figures misleading, as it's not a true gauge of how many people are paying for it. In fact, the increase in the number of GoPro subscribers has not resulted in increased revenue for the company, with a 25% decrease over the year. 

However, could this show GoPro's vision for the future? Giving a discount to customers to sign up for a service they're getting for free for a year might seem like it's throwing revenue away. But as GoPro has long had problems generating predictable and recurring revenue, signing customers up to a (currently free) cloud service may be a way to start building recurring revenue. It also begins building a direct relationship with consumers. 

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