The future of GoPro is not hardware. It’s services.
Editing video is hard but GoPro is moving it to the cloud in a bid to make it a bit easier. The service, called GoPro Plus, is a subscription-based service that GoPro says gives owners access to their photos and videos from any device, and allows for sharing and editing.
This service addresses one of GoPro’s main hurdles: How do you get users to cut down hours of footage into a 2 minute highlight reel? GoPro hopes the answer is in the cloud.
CEO and founder Nick Woodman revealed the company’s cloud ambitions last year. It’s a bold move and building the service was likely a novel challenge for the camera maker. At the time Woodman revealed that GoPro aims to be more than a camera company. It wants to be a lifestyle media company and today’s move is a confident step towards that goal.
Last year I had the chance to sit down with Woodman on the eve of the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado. It bothered him GoPro users often leave content sitting on devices. He admitted that he has this problem, too. Like many of his customers (me included), he has stacks of SD cards with footage that he doesn’t have to time to edit. This is where the cloud services come into play.
With this service, when the new Hero5 camera is plugged in to charge, it can automatically upload photos and videos to the user’s account.
GoPro Plus comes with a cost, thought. The service is available through a subscription that also unlocks a 20% discount on mounts and accessories and exclusive access to GoPro apparel. Premium support and access to an extended library of music soundtracks.
The service is $4.99 a month after the expiration of a free trial. GoPro Plus will be available to US customers on October 2nd and additional markets beginning in January 2017.
The press release announcing GoPro Plus states the service is limited to just the GoPro Hero5 line.