GoPro is best known for its hardware. The camera maker is a favorite among surfers, bikers, skydivers, pretty much anyone who's looking to strap a camera to her person—or drone—and capture an adventure.
But the company's recent IPO filing reveals a broader ambition: GoPro wants to be a media company. That transformation—physical goods to digital media—is one that many companies are making these days, and it's an intuitive next step for GoPro.
The convergence of social and mobile publishing has created all kinds of well-defined channels for content distribution, and audiences already congregate around those channels. So why wouldn't a retailer or manufacturer want to put its product in front of them? For GoPro, becoming a media company means tapping into a distribution network with content that makes people want to buy GoPro cameras.
Another way to think about it: GoPro is getting people to buy its cameras, then distributing those customers' footage like ads, which encourages more people to buy GoPro cameras, and so on.
How will it do this? The company plans to develop a platform for editing and sharing videos. But instead of reinventing YouTube, GoPro hopes to use the existing social publishing platforms to its advantage. It lists YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds and channels as part of the "GoPro network," according to the 227-page document GoPro filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. (It also has a newly launched channel on Xbox Live, as well as a GoPro channel on Virgin America.)