Amazon US launches photobook service

Max Goldbart
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Amazon has launched a new photobook printing service in the US.

Amazon Prints, its new photo printing service, offers printed photos starting at 9c (7p) each, with photobooks starting at £15.

The company’s website says that stationery and calendars will also be available soon and that for a limited time shipping costs will be free.

Amazon US’s Amazon Prime membership, which costs £76, includes free photo storage as a feature, along with delivery discounts and video and music streaming.

It is unclear if Amazon plans on bringing Amazon Prints to Europe or the UK.

Precision Printing chief executive Gary Peeling, whose company produces photobooks as part of its work mix, said this was an indicator that the market is continuing to grow and that he wouldn’t be worried about the service coming to the UK.

“It’s not unexpected that we will see new players moving into the market and as always they will compete on areas like price,” said Peeling.

“I think what’s encouraging for print is that this shows people still love it and love to see their images in print.

“I also suspect that an organisation with the retail power of Amazon is going to require extensive supply chain management locally as they roll that out and that this is going to provide opportunities for all sorts of print manufacturers around the planet, as they are likely to use a connected network to distribute their orders to a locality."

Following Amazon's new service announcement, US photo printer Shutterfly experienced its worst single-day share decline in its past eight years of trading. Shutterfly makes around half of its £900m revenue from photo printing and related services.

In February, an industry expert said it was likely that Amazon would bring its new on-demand textile printing 'Merch by Amazon' service to the UK.

At the same time, rumours emerged, from an executive of a major US mail operator, that Amazon plans to open up 400 physical bookstores in the US.

Last year, Vistaprint Cimpress tested out a DIY business cards service in the US but it is still unclear whether this service will come to the UK.

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