GoPro Rethinks Mobile Strategy

Something had to give after GoPro’s crappy fourth quarter and sinking stock price.

Not surprisingly, that something is the action camera company’s mobile strategy.

To keep up with increasingly sophisticated smartphones, GoPro just plopped down $105 million for Stupeflix and Vemory: makers of two video-editing apps that let people cut and publish footage directly from their phones.

The plan is to merge their respective apps, Replay and Splice, and integrate them into GoPro’s current offering.

And, it’s about time. Cool as its cameras are, GoPro never made it easy to transfer, edit, and share video footage from its blocky gadgets.  

But, that’s all about to change, insists Nicholas Woodman, GoPro’s young founder and CEO. “We believe the accessibility, speed and efficiency of mobile will make it the predominant editing platform of the future,” Woodman states.

Replay, developed by Paris-based Stupeflix, was designed for users to quickly select video clips and photos, and automatically combines them into a single video complete with transition effects, graphics, and synchronized music. 

Splice, developed by Austin-based Vemory, is a mobile editor that allows users to manually create customized edits with advanced features normally found on desktop editing applications -- but with the speed and efficiency of a mobile app interface.

This is not GoPro’s first attempt at fixing its video-sharing problem. It recently partnered with Periscope so users could more easily broadcast to their followers in the social network.

Yet, the question persists: Can GoPro remain relevant as smartphones become more durable, and adept at capturing and sharing high-quality content?

At the moment, most investors think not.

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