GoPro Inc (GPRO 1.18%) has had a tumultuous ride as a public company. The market put unrealistically high expectations on the stock shortly after its IPO that led to more than a 50% fall from its 52-week high.
But management isn't building a hype stock, it's forging a long-term company. On a recent conference call with analysts, CEO Nick Woodman and his executives gave us a look at how they view the company's future.
GoPro at its core
We view GoPro as a content enabling business, and we believe there's a strong correlation between viewership of GoPro content and sales of our products. We refer to this as our virtuous cycle. Our investments and product development efforts center around reducing the friction associated with capturing, editing, and sharing engaging content, which goes on to virally drive awareness of our brand and adoption of our products. -- Nick Woodman, CEO
Here is the vision for GoPro in its simplest form. This isn't just a camera company, this is a "content enabling business" that drives growth by making capturing and sharing content easy. Everything GoPro does long term should revolve around that.
Kolor is all about virtual reality
We see that incredible opportunity for GoPro to be at the forefront of the virtual reality movement and enabling spherical content for viewing and other use cases than virtual reality. Given that a GoPro is already the most widely used capture device for capturing life experiences in an immersive manner, it's only natural that we have a seat at the table in the virtual reality movement, moving forward. -- Nick Woodman, CEO
Along with first-quarter results, GoPro announced the acquisition of Kolor, a spherical content company (find out more about what that means here). The acquisition gives GoPro a great partner for creating content that could be at the center of virtual reality. In the quote above, Woodman states that that's exactly what management had in mind when they bought the company. This shows that Woodman and team are looking a few steps ahead of today's camera uses in their strategic moves.
Social media is a growth strategy
Distribution of GoPro content drives social engagement, and our social media metrics are an indication of our brand strength. Facebook followers now total more than 8 million, and on YouTube, GoPro subscribers are up 48% year over year, to roughly 3 million. Twitter followers are up 49% year over year, to 1.4 million, and we remain one of the top ten brands on Instagram, with more than 4.5 million followers, up 141% year over year. -- Nick Woodman, CEO
One of the beauties of GoPro's business is that customers will advertise for it. The number of eyeballs GoPro can reach through social media shows just how far that net is cast -- and that doesn't include the thousands of GoPro videos uploaded outside of GoPro's platform.
This presence creates free advertising for GoPro and improves brand awareness organically. Not a lot of companies utilize social media well, but GoPro is one that does.
International growth is gaining steam
Last year, EMEA and APAC accounted for more than 500 million of the $1.4 billion of GoPro generated revenue. This quarter, combined revenue from EMEA and APAC was up 66% and accounted for 50% of revenue. Clearly, our investments in worldwide marketing and distribution are paying off. -- Tony Bates, president
GoPro is growing in the U.S. and the Americas, but a majority of the company's growth is coming from overseas. This doesn't just help grow the company; it diversifies revenue and reduces risk a single market could pose. It also shows the leverage of GoPro's advertising.
GoPro's social media outlets are international, broadening appeal for the brand. If GoPro can continue to be one of the hottest names in social media video, we should see this international growth continue.
Integration in consumer products is growing
We announced a partnership with BMW to integrate the GoPro app with their iDrive control platform. And just recently, BMW unveiled two factory integrated GoPro mounting options for their cars. And this month, Toyota announced that GoPro mounts will be factory installed in all of their 2016 Tacoma trucks. Also this month, 3-D Robotics unveiled Solo, a new quadcopter that will ship with GoPro's frame mount, optimizing its design for use with HERO3 and HERO4 capture devices. -- Tony Bates, president
Not only are customers loving their GoPros, companies are building GoPro capabilities into their products. Cars, trucks, and drones are natural places to use a GoPro, and having mounts built in should drive sales in the future. Look for GoPro to be integrated into even more products -- and maybe even move into making products like drones itself sometime in the future.
GoPro making all the right moves
Not only is GoPro growing right now, it looks like it's making all the right moves to continue that growth well into the future. The suite of editing software and the move into virtual reality should drive future sales and even grow applications well beyond the GoPro camera we know today. This is a great company with a visionary leader, one I would feel comfortable owning for years to come.