The Death & Rise Of Polaroid | Film Decline Research

In 2008, Polaroid announced they would stop producing film . This was announced after the company struggled with sales for a decade after the release of digital cameras back in the 90s. Consumers started abandoning the instant camera, however there was still a high demand for instant film. The following table shows the decrease in sales for instant film with the introduction of digital photography:


Through performing this exploratory research, I’m able to link it into my business plan relating to how long I could sustain the business for in the current market. The above tables shows the decrease of film sales in the USA from the 90s till now. This is probably somewhat of a similar reflection in sales in other places such as Europe. We can see that the trend/ pattern slows down around the year of 2006. This shows us that even though digital sales were monopolising the market, film sales still managed to remain sustainable. In turn this means for me, that the industry is not completely dead, and that there is money still to be made from film photography.Institutions such as film schools and companies like Fuji-film and The Impossible Project have been responsible in keeping these sales going.

Its important to also note down that the decrease in sales for film can also be linked to the cost of producing the film. Producing film is always going to be a difficult process, however, the image quality you get from it is of much better value than digital. Still, it is always going to be more economical to shoot with a memory card than buying film, So I ask myself again, Why? As mentioned above the image quality of polaroid film is a better quality than digital. This serves as an additional USP for my business. Also even though the numbers tell us that Film is just barely sustaining itself, theres a high demand for it. Film enthusiasts who are part of my target market, are keeping the medium thriving. In addition, western and eastern youths have recently started popularising polaroid pictures with the release of Fujifilms’ Instax Cameras. Even though digital has won in the consumer and professional markets, film is still pushing on.


ORMS Connect. (2011). Opinion: Photographic Film Is Here To Stay.Available: Opinion: Photographic Film Is Here To Stay. Last accessed 10 Feb 2014.


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