GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO)
Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call
February 03, 2016 05:00 PM ET
Peter Salkowski - IR
Nicholas Woodman - CEO
Jack Lazar - CFO
Tony Bates - President
Paul Coster - JP Morgan
Joseph Wolf - Barclays
Charlie Anderson - Dougherty & Company
Tavis McCourt - Raymond James
Andrew Uerkwitz - Oppenheimer & Company
Ben Bollin - Cleveland Research
Will Power - Robert Baird
Rob Cihra - Sterne Agee
Jim Duffy - Stifel
Good day and welcome to the GoPro, 4Q '15 Earnings Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded.
At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Peter Salkowski. Please go ahead, sir.
Thank you. Good afternoon and welcome to GoPro's fourth quarter and full year 2015 earnings conference call. With me today are GoPro's CEO, Nicholas Woodman; our President, Tony Bates; and our Chief Financial Officer, Jack Lazar.
Before we begin, I would like to remind you that statements on this call including, but not limited to those about our projected future and financial results, including revenue and expenses, economic and market trends, our future plans, prospects and growth opportunities, the continued adoption of our products, the anticipated benefits of our long-term strategy, our customers, competitive position, market share and leading position in various markets constitute forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements and all other statements that may be made on this call, that are not historical facts are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. These forward-looking statements speak only as of today's call and we do not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
We refer you to our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in particular, to the section entitled Risk Factors and to other reports that we may file from time to time with the SEC for additional information on factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from those of our current expectations.
We report net profit and loss and basic and diluted net profit and loss per share in accordance with GAAP, and additionally on a non-GAAP basis. We believe that non-GAAP information is useful because it can enhance the understanding of our ongoing economic performance. We use non-GAAP reporting internally to evaluate and manage our operations. We have chosen to provide this information to enable investors to perform comparisons of operating results in a manner similar to how we analyze our own operating results.
A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial data can be found in the earnings press release we issued today. We ask that you review this information in conjunction with this call. All numbers that are disclosed in today's conference call other than revenue are non-GAAP unless otherwise noted.
In addition to the earnings press release, we have posted slides containing detailed financial data and metrics for the fourth quarter and full year of 2015. These slides and a link to the webcast for today's earnings conference call are posted on the Events and Presentations page of the GoPro’s Investor Relations website for your reference.
In the interest of time, I would like to remind those participating in the Q&A portion of the call to please limit yourself to one question each.
Now, I’ll turn the call over to GoPro's CEO, Nicholas Woodman. Nick.
Thank you. Good afternoon, today's call follows the preliminary results we issued on January 13th. For the fourth quarter GoPro generated revenue of $436.6 million. For the full year we generated revenue of $1.62 billion representing year-over-year growth of 16%. For the fourth quarter we reported a loss of $0.08 per share and for the full year we reported earnings of $0.76 per share. Fourth quarter and full year results were impacted by a charge of approximately $57 million resulting from our decision to end-of-life the entry level HERO, HERO+ and HERO+ LCD products which we will stop selling in April. This is charge is higher than the $30 million to $35 million write off that was communicated in January and is due to our subsequent decisions to simplify our product line to a good, better, best offering of HERO4 Session, Silver and Black cameras.
Our performance can be viewed in several ways. It was the second highest grossing quarter in GoPro's 13 year history. Toped only Q4 of 2014 when we launched the HERO4 line of cameras. Our share of the digital imaging category in both North America and Europe grew year-over-year. We shipped more than 6.5 million GoPro's in 2015, up 27% year-over-year and we're proud to announce our cumulative total since 2009 now exceeds 20 million units.
In Q4 we reduced the price of HERO4 Session to $199, positioning it as the best entry-level product we've ever made. The new price resulted in more than a three-fold increase in sell-through rates in December and sell-through continues to be strong. Session price, small form-factor and simple one-button design are clearly resonating with consumers. In several respects business is good. However our growth rates has slowed and some analysts have attributed this to competitive threats and our ability to address the market beyond our core customer. That is not how we see it.
To start I want to address concerns about competition, GoPro enjoys a growing category share lead in North America and Europe, in fact according to NPD in the fourth quarter of 2015 GoPro increased share in the U.S. by 180 basis points year-over-year to 21.3% of the combined digital camera and camcorder category on a unit basis. While in the action camera category GoPro's unit market share is over 85%.
In Europe GfK reports our December share of the digital imaging market was up 500 basis points year-over-year to 13% of the total market. While we respect our competitors the data shows they are not having any significant impact on our business.
Next I want to talk about our total addressable market. There are concerns that it will be difficult for GoPro to grow beyond our core customer base. We believe that it's a not a question of the size of our TAM but rather our ability to deliver a seamless content solution that appeals to our TAM. There's little question that connected consumers have an interest in capturing and sharing and engaging personal content. This isn't the problem. The problem is that it's still too hard to offload, access and edit GoPro content.
So, what are we doing about it? We are doubling down. In January we reduced our workforce by 7% and reallocated resources to accelerate software and hardware development that will improve the convenience of the GoPro experience. In software you'll see the beginning stages of this new experience in the March release of our entirely new content management application, GoPro for Desktop. GoPro for Desktop represents a breakthrough in convenient offload, access and editing of GoPro content. It provides tools to easily sort large amounts of footage as well as trim and share directly to Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms.
And an entirely new editing experience slated for release later this year will make it easy to create strikingly good edits in a matter of minutes. In terms of doubling down in hardware we are ensuring that any new and existing hardware products do a better job of connecting to smartphones and the cloud. Any advancements in software will be matched at the hardware level. And later this year we will introduce the most connected and convenient GoPro we had ever made. HERO 5.
To summarize, we acknowledge the challenges facing our business. We do not believe those challenges include a limited TAM or significant competitive pressure. Our challenge is to make GoPro simple. In 2016 we are committed to delivering a breakthrough -- the breakthrough experience we've all be waiting for. A seamless offload, access and edit solution across mobile, desktop and cloud platforms. It's against this commitment that you can judge our performance this year.
And with that I'll turn the call over to Tony.
Thanks, Nick. We all share your excitement. My remarks today will focus on four areas. Highlights of our retail performance and software engagement, new partnerships we formed for content and brand installations, updates on the continued strength of the GoPro brand and I'll conclude with updates on our partner industries.
I'll start with the review of the competitive landscape. As Nick noted the data shows competitors are not having a significant impacts on our business. In fact in the fourth quarter GoPro gained market share in the U.S. On a unit basis GoPro accounted for five of the top 10 cameras including the number one and number two spots in the combined digital camera and camcorder category.
In that same category on the dollar basis GoPro's cameras accounted for six of the top 10 products, including the number one spot. GoPro was also the leader in accessories unit sells six of the top 10 phone accessories, again including the number one spot.
According to GfK data from Europe in the fourth quarter GoPro accounted for six out of the top 10 camcorders and in December GoPro held all clients top spots. And based on around 2016 data we see in excess of 50% year-over-year growth in the UK and Italy additionally in Japan, Korea and China each grew more than 80% and China remained a top 10 global market for GoPro.
I also want to note that roughly 50% of GoPro's 2016 revenues came from outside of North America. And combined revenue in Europe and Asia was up over 49%. We are particularly proud of our progress on international initiatives, which only began around [ph] two years ago.
Shifting focuses to software. Our solutions continue to demonstrate growth. In 2015, GoPro app downloads are up almost 28% year-over-year and installs of GoPro Studio are up 67% to 7.2 million. Content exports and studio software were up 54% and average 44,000 daily exports for the entire year. Clearly people want to edit and share their GoPro content and as Nick said we expect these numbers to grow dramatically as we will introduce software solutions to simplify the process.
Next I want to offer some content on platform partnerships that extend the reach of GoPro channel content and their brand. GoPro content is the foundation of our global marketing campaign. We clearly believe that strong correlations through views of our videos and sales of GoPro cameras and accessories.
In the past two years we signed content-sharing agreement with digital distribution power houses like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Xbox One, PlayStation and Roku. And last week we announced an agreement enabling live streaming from a GoPro and twitter’s Periscope platform.
In the first four days more than 2,700 people used the GoPro to broadcast live in Periscope. My favorite example is from ESPN and Winter X Games where gold medal snowboarder Chloe Kim did a live GoPro course preview that generated 2.6 million views on Periscope.
Another platform we're excited about is Facebook. We've been utilizing Facebook as a distribution platform for our 360 video content. This year we have GoPro’s most used spherical video design [ph]. Tahiti Surf VR, which has generated more than 20 million total views on Facebook. In addition to expanding to viewership platforms, GoPro has created partnerships for high profile content integration. We are creating content with the National Hockey League, and this week signed an agreement with the PGA Tour, where GoPro will be integrated into the broadcasting of 16th hole of this week's PGA tournament.
An illustrating GoPro’s appeal outside sports, we partnered with the Grammy Awards to provide unique live broadcast perspectives of the upcoming February 2016 award show. The PGA and Grammy live broadcast will be enabled by HEROCast. Our live broadcast solution is enhancing people experience event on TV. Engaged last year in NBC's broadcast of the NHL All-Star Game, ESPN Winter X Games and MotoGP in Europe.
You can check our footage from HEROCast, and highlights of our partnerships on the Inner Works page at GoPro.com.
Next I want to update you on the continued strength and momentum of the GoPro brand. One indicator for the popularity of our brand is the number of views we generate on social media platform. Our recent GoPro Awards submission Frozen Kitten Lives has generated over 4.5 million views on YouTube.
Cascadia featuring bike stunt superstar and GoPro athlete Danny MacAskill was released on this December 12th and in just two weeks became our 2nd most popular video of 2015. Surpassed only by the HERO4 Session launch video. Cascadia has been viewed almost 15 million views on the GoPro channel. Furthermore, Google announced that for the full year 2015 GoPro [indiscernible] Google Brand's Leadership a way [ph] for the measurement of brand and company for the popular promotional content on YouTube.
Also, Google informed us that in 2016 more than 4.6 years’ worth of content was uploaded to YouTube with GoPro in the title, that’s a 22% increase from 2014. These data points serve as a powerful indicator of our brand’s growing relevance.
Now finally, I want to update you on hardware. As impressive as GoPro technology is today we’re passionate about making our devices smaller, lighter and easy to use and similarly GoPro’s drone Karma will be on store shelves in the first half of 2016. In November, we created a registration page from gopro.com where more than 100,000 consumers have already pledged us to receive updates about Karma. Drones are just one of the investments we are making that will change how the world will create and experience content. And another key initiative for GoPro is virtual reality, and we have several products in development that will position GoPro as a leader in VR.
GoPro Odyssey is our 16 camera rig for shooting 360 degree, 3D photos and videos. We announced Odyssey last year in partnership with Google, content will begin appearing on Google’s Jump platform later this year. An all new GoPro owns six camera rig for shooting spherical content will be available this summer. One final note, be sure to check out our super bowl commercial on Sunday, it illustrates our excitement for Session and reflects our belief that its rugged simplicity makes it the perfect activity capture solution for both our core and mass market customers. We posted a commercial to the Inner Work station of our Web site, so please check it out.
And with that I’ll now turn the call over to Jack.
Thank you, Tony and thanks to all of you for joining us today. If you’re not already done so, I’d encourage you to download from the investors section of our Web site the financial slides we posted concurrent with our press release earlier today. Our prepared remarks will be focusing on financial overview of Q4 and full year 2015 as well as our related business trends. I’ll then provide the guidance related to the first quarter and full year 2016 which can also be found in today’s press release.
Full year 2015 revenue of $1.6 billion was up 16% compared to 2014. The units shipped in 2015 of $6.6 million were up 27% year-over-year reflecting the expansion of both our business and our market share. EMEA and APAC regions combined made up 46% of the full year revenue, representing almost 50% dollar increase year-over-year, reflecting our ongoing successful international expansion. Our fourth quarter revenue of $436.6 million was slightly better than our preliminary results announced on January 13th up 9% sequentially and down 31% year-over-year.
We shipped 2 million capture devices in the quarter and cumulatively to-date we have now shipped approximately 20 million units. Q4 was also our second highest quarter ever both in terms of revenue and unit shipments. Fourth quarter revenue reflects global retail sell through trends that were seasonally weaker than the prior year as we did not have a major new product launch in Q4 2015. Additionally, we recorded $21 million reduction of revenue for HERO4 Session price protection related charge in December.
Our direct sales channel made up 67% of Q4 revenue compared to 62% in the same period last year. Regionally the Americas was strongest and made up over 65% of Q4 revenue followed by EMEA at 24% and APAC at 11%. As a percentage of total revenue, both the Americas and APAC regions were slightly stronger on a year-over-year basis. Our premium HERO4 Black and Silver product combined once again and made up over 50% of our revenue. Since our December price reduction of the HERO4 Session, we’ve seen a strong uptake in demand for this product. And to-date we have shipped over 500,000 units.
ASPs on all of our HERO and HERO4 products with the exception of the HERO4 Session, we’re up sequentially as we did not experienced any noticeable pricing pressure for these products during the quarter. Gross margin for 2015 was 41.7% compared to 45.1% in 2014. Gross margin for the quarter was 29.6% compared with 48% in the fourth quarter of 2014 and lower than the preliminary gross margin of 34.5% to 35.5% that we provided back in January 13th.
We recorded product realignment charges of approximately 57 million to cost of revenue in the fourth quarter related to excess purchase order commitments, inventory and the obsolete tooling. This charge was greater than the preliminary range of $30 million to $35 million we provided on January 13th due to our late January decision to end-of-life our entry level HERO, HERO plus and HERO plus LTD products in order to simplify our product offering to our three stealth products, HERO4 Black, Silver and Session.
Excluding the impact of these additional product realignment charges, our gross margins would have been within the preliminary range of 34.5% to 35.5%. Excluding the impact of the product realignments and the Session price protection related charges, gross margins would have been 45.3%. Operating expenses of 150.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, were up 36% year-over-year and at the lower end of our preliminary reported range of a 150 million to 152 million. Sales and marketing expenses were up 37% year-over-year reflecting increased marketing spend during the holiday season and our brand building efforts.
Consistent with prior period R&D investments continue to drive a significant portion of the overall expense growth and we're up 49% year-over-year. We recorded an operating loss in the fourth quarter of 21.6 million and then adjusted EBITDA loss of 9.3 million. Reflecting the lower than anticipated revenue and the product realignment and price protection related charges previously mentioned. Loss per share for the fourth quarter was $0.08 down from earnings per diluted share of $0.99 comparable quarter. GAAP loss for the fourth quarter was 34.5 million or a loss of $0.25 per share, this compares with GAAP net income of a 122.3 million or $0.83 per diluted share for Q4 '14.
Turning to balance sheet, we ended the year with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of 474.1 million at December 31st, up 51.8 million year-over-year and represents 43% of GoPro's total assets. Cash flow from operations for the full year of 2015 was a 158.9 million including 22.9 million in the fourth quarter. Accounts receivable were a 145.7 million at December 31st and DSOs of 30 days were in line of our expectations. Inventory of a 188.2 million was down 35% sequentially primarily due to shipments from the holiday season as well as inventory write downs related to the product realignment. We've repurchased 1.5 million shares at an average price of approximately $23 for a total of 35.6 million through December 31st. We have remaining share repurchase authorization of 264.4 million.
I'll now move onto our guidance. For Q1 we're providing selected quarterly guidance in addition to full year 2016 revenue expectations. In future quarters we will only provide annual guidance and refine it as necessary. Because we managed GoPro on an annual basis and our business is typically seasonal we believe providing annual guidance as opposed to detailed quarterly updates, align investors with our internal approach to running the business. For the full year we currently anticipate introducing new aerial on capture devices that will be complemented by ongoing software improvements. We expect revenue grow sequentially each quarter and for it to be seasonally strong with a vast majority in the second half of the year. Accordingly we currently anticipate 2006 [ph] revenue to be in the range of 1.35 billion to 1.5 billion. The first quarter is typically a slower seasonal quarter for revenue and that will be the case in 2016. During Q1 we implemented our product realignment strategy allowing us to feature our best products for consumers. We expect sell-through to be significantly higher than sell-in enabling our global channels to further reduce their weeks of inventory which in turn will negatively impact first quarter sell-in.
Accordingly, we currently anticipate first quarter revenue between a 160 million and a 180 million. We expect the Americas region will be strongest in terms of dollars and that EMEA and APAC regional revenue will increase as a percentage of total revenue. We expect distribution revenue to exceed our direct revenue in Q1. On a product basis we expect HERO4 Black and Silver will contribute over 50% of our first quarter revenue and based on recent sell-through trends Session will become a significantly greater percentage contributor to our total revenue. For the first quarter we anticipate gross margin will be 36% plus or minus a 100 basis points. And we’ll be adversely affected by approximately 500 basis points due to high fixed overhead costs given the lower levels of expected revenue.
In January we adopted a restructuring plan design to better align the company's resources for key revenue growth initiatives. We all continue to invest in the people, products and infrastructure necessary to pursue our growth and our long-term vision. Our R&D is primarily been invested in the development of next-generation aerial and capture devices as well as software and entertainment initiatives. Excluding the $5 million to $10 million of anticipated restructuring costs we currently anticipate operating expenses for the quarter to be between a 165 million and a 170 million with a majority of the growth coming from research and development and marketing. Additionally we anticipate operating expenses will grow sequentially throughout the year. For the quarter we anticipate an adjusted EBITDA loss of between -- 95 million plus or minus 2.5 million.
So, with that operator we're ready to take your questions.
Hand on. No, actually first I thank you Jack. As Jack noted this is the last time we will provide quarterly guidance. We believe that maintaining a long-term focus is more consistent with the initiatives we explained today and is more consistent with how we've traditionally run the business since our founding in 2002. Prior to taking GoPro public in June of 2014, we enjoyed 13 years of strong and consistent growth.
During this period we maintained a consistent long term perspective with a focus on annual performance. This allowed us to undertake bold initiatives to grow the business following our IPO we shifted our focus to a shorter term quarterly horizon. With our shift to annual guidance we are aligning our decision making with the approach this company was built on.
So with that operator we will now take your questions.
Thank you. [Operator Instructions]. And will take our first question from Paul Coster with JP Morgan.
Yes. Thanks very much for taking my question, and thanks to Jack as well for a rollercoaster I think is the best way of describing it and welcome to Bryan who hopefully will get back to this stronger and persistent growth success story that Nick was talking of. My question is -- I got so many questions but the one I think I’m most interested at the moment is the, how you think the product mix shapes out over the course of the year. The Session obviously is doing well from a unit while in perspective do you expect the ISP to creek back up as it’s down gross margins. Can you just give us some shape, some sense of the mix of those products through the year, the effects on ASPs and effects on gross margins through the best you are able to predict any of the above? Thanks.
Hi, Paul its Jack. And so I'll try and take this as much as I can. We weren’t know the product realignment so it’s a little difficult to come up with what we think the expectations are. Right now we’re really trying to simplify Black, Silver and Session. I think what we are pleased with is that we have an entry level products that’s really kind of a killer product and in Session we’re starting to see those sell through trends and in Black and Silver remain pretty consistent. Of course a lot of this is going to depend on what we do from our products release over the course of the year so it's a little hard to get into what that mix will actually look like, but we did say 50% of our revenue was Black and Silver this last quarter we did say 50% and more will be Black and Silver in the upcoming quarters. So that should give you some indication and I think as it relates to margins, we guided to 36% plus or minus a point so if you add that to a fixed cost that we’re getting burdened with this quarter due to the lower revenue, kind of give the feel for probably the levels of gross margin that we think we can probably operate in as we go into the rest of the year here.
Now off course all of this is going to probably change as we release new products but that's kind of where we're seeing it right on it.
Can I just follow up that implies that the Session gross margins starts to creep up notwithstanding the fact that you've taken this price action that I assume is reversible. Can you just comment on that?
Yes. I think were actively looking at ways to optimize the margin on recession and we feel like when we made this decision to lower the price of $199 obviously we are focusing on the cost side of the two and hopefully will see some benefits from that as we move forward.
Okay. Well thanks Jack. Best of luck Brain.
And will take our next question from Joseph Wolf with Barclays.
I think that's maybe a continuation of the last question and also my best wishes to Jack as you move on in life and career. You talked about launching the HERO5, so if you are going back to basics with the good-better-best. Are going to drop a product later in the year and stick to three action cameras and how you think about the breadth of the mix as the Karma and some virtual reality products to come out.
I'll take the first part of the question. This is Nick Woodman. As it relates to future products in our line up we can't comment on what that will be, only that we are very excited about all of the products that we’re working on. Could you repeat the second part of your questions please?
Just how do you -- I'll rephrase it. Does it -- if you think about your -- you talked about the addressable market and the market share gain with the new hardware products that are coming out Karma and VR, do you think that those are new audiences or are they an extension of your traditional audience?
Well that's a good question. They are both. We have a very passionate and active customer base millions of people who over the years have bought and enjoyed their GoPro's and so I think that every new product that we make we take into account those existing customer base and we develop our products to resonate with those customers who are have already raised their hand and said that they’re interested in our brand and our solution. But obviously we’re seeking to expand the reach and relevant of GoPro and I think that we are going to accomplish that both with our Karma products and associated products as well as our virtual reality products.
And we’ll take our next question from Charlie Anderson with Dougherty & Company.
I want to ask, I didn’t know how you caught it but if you talked about what your sell-through should be in Q1? I want to understand product realignments sounds like it's a big headwind on Q1 revenue. So, if you could quantify that at all or talk about, as I think about the full year guide, so are you expecting true sell-through to improve or not improve personally what you expect in Q1?
So Q1 it's really an adjustment. So we’re doing is the alignment, as we do that alignment we’re cleaning up the channels a bit. And clearly given the fact that we did give some annual revenue guidance, we do think that we will see increased sell-through as the year progresses on. So think of this in time and once we took an internal work and said, okay, what’s the best thing for the customer, the best thing for the customer is to actually simplify the product lines and then clean-up the channels so that we can present the best solutions. And then to complement that with some of the things we’re doing in the future here.
So, the short answer of this is yes we expect the sell through to pick up, this quarter sell through will be significantly greater than the sell-in and significantly certainly more -- it's not 10% it's a lot more than that.
Nick here, I’ll add to that. The more simplified are the presentation of our value proposition to consumers is, the better our conversion rate at retail when you give the consumer too many choices, you confuse them and they often times end up buying nothing. If you give them only the best of your solutions and you present the value proposition of those solutions clearly you generally get better conversion.
Something else that we’re doing moving forward is adjusting our marketing slightly to be more product centric and do a better job of communicating the product itself and the benefit of GoPro cameras themselves and less about the big branded visuals that we’ve been come to known for because as we move into a more mass market customer we recognize that we have to make our value proposition more obvious to them.
So when you combine more product centric marketing, clear communication with a much more concise and to the point product line. We think that we can improve sell through over time.
And Charlie, just one last thing to hit that point, I want to really talk about the super bowl ad in my prepared remarks as you’ll get a sense of that, the shifts towards a more product centric marketing approach, so check it out.
And just a follow on to that I just wonder if you could talk about how operating expenses should trend through the year? We’re seeing the spike in Q1 I know, your super bowl ad marketing is probably pretty high. How we should think about that trajectory?
We were this is Jack, Charlie, we were pretty explicit on the guidance that we expect it to increase sequentially throughout the year.
And we’ll take our next question from Tavis McCourt with Raymond James.
Thanks for taking my question. Jack you mentioned I think in the answer to a question that you expect Black and Silver to be 50% of little above 50% for the March quarter. So I am a bit confused are you still selling the HERO line up HERO, HERO plus and LCD into the channel in March?
Yes, so Nick did point out that we would be discounting the products in April. So, we’re kind of winding down at this point is what we’re really doing, [multiple speakers].
And then have you guys running any experiments at retail from a merchandizing perspective, taking some of the lower cost items off the shelf and see what it does to overall sales?
A - Nicholas Woodman
That’s a good question. To answer this question specifically, no. But in talks with our retailers they expressed confident that Session would perform very well as our lowest priced entry level product at 199 and that many of the customers in fact would trade up to that product. So we’re feeling comfortable with that move.
And Nick you mentioned the HERO5 later on in the year as we get the new product cycle, should we be thinking about a difference ASP gross margin profile once everything is shipping back at full MSRP, or do you know yet?
It's Jack again. I think as we get closer to the release of those products we’ll be happy to give more color on it. But at this point we’re really focused on the strategy for the next couple of quarters and then of course delivering the products that we’re going to have out later in the year.
And Nick final question, Tony mentioned Karma before on shelves in June. So I was wondering from your perspective this is a market where there is one dominant player in it similar the way GoPro was in action cameras and it's been difficult to un-seat GoPro in action cameras. What would you view as a success in terms of you entering that flying camera market or drone market?
I’ll start off by being more specific about what Tony said the first half of the year, he didn’t mentioned June specifically for the release of Karma. What we consider to be successful for Karma, that's a very good question. I think that we're uniquely positioned to be successful out of the gates with Karma given the strength of GoPro's brand in the drone category. The drone category -- the consumer drone category really took off not because of drones but because of people attaching GoPro's to drones.
And so even though GoPro has not had a drone product per say, our brand is known as a drone company ironically and I think that the consumers that are currently buying drones are anticipating for what GoPro is going to do in the category. And so when you combine that with our global distribution, our in-store merchandizing the fact that our brand is already known as a contributor to the drone movement and our history of delivering extremely versatile and durable and capable capture solutions for consumers, I think that many people are giving us the benefit of the doubt that's going to help us with product launch.
And another aspect to our strategy is that we are seeking to be significantly differentiated from what existing drone companies are offering in the marketplace, they have their approach and we have ours and we think we're positioned to succeed, more excited for it.
And we'll take our next question from Andrew Uerkwitz of Oppenheimer & Company.
In the prepared comments you mentioned your competition and your market share, I would to tend to agree that I think competition in cameras is nil for you guys, but based on your guidance, it looks like you're buying units down in 2016. So, my question is, are you just facing a really tough TAM or -- a shrinking market and it's -- and you having difficulty expanding that TAM? And if you expand than how you will get into some of these other horizontal camera markets, that'll be useful please.
Sure, our answer is just what we said on the call which is you're right to note, we don't believe that our headwinds are due to competitive pressures and we don't believe that our headwinds are due to a limited TAM or that we've saturated it. The market for helping people self-capture amazing content of any experience and then share that content is a massive one, we believe that every connected consumer in the world has an interest in capturing and sharing their personal experiences, visually expressing themselves in this age of social -- personal-social media and we believe that because GoPro enables consumers to self-capture themselves in ways that they cannot with any other camera and one way to think about GoPro, we're sort of narrowly described as been in action "Camera Company". I’d prefer -- we would all prefer that we think of it more as -- GoPro as the world's leading activity Capture Company.
Action implies something kind of risky and dangerous that you're doing, but in truth the majority of our customers use a GoPro to film themselves having fantastic weekends with their families and perusing sort of more everyday activities and unlike a smartphone or a traditional camera where you need a third person to hold the camera to photograph or film you doing whatever it is that you love to doing life, with a GoPro you can film yourself. And that is just a huge-huge value -- enabling value proposition for consumers and enables incredible content that is simply possible without a GoPro.
So, that total market opportunity is very significant we believe. The problem as I stated earlier on the call is not the TAM, but it's our ability to provide a simple enough solution for the mass market TAM. GoPro as we've known it today has resonated with our core customer who really wants the solution so badly that they're willing to deal with the inconvenience of manually offloading and then accessing and then editing their content.
But we're self-aware and acknowledge that that experience is too difficult for the mass market consumer today and so our challenge and our opportunity is to simplify GoPro and make it very-very seamless to automatically offload and then access and edit your content. And when we achieve that we think that we can significantly reignite the growth that we've been known for over the years.
I appreciate that, that candid answer. If I could do one follow-up, do you think you can solve those problems internally, or do you think we should expect some M&A to help that speed that transition along? Thank you that’s my last question.
I think that the candid answer to that is we are always looking at opportunities to accelerate our execution and realization of our vision. We do believe that we are capable with the internal resources we now have, but that does not mean that we’re not so keeping an eye out of opportunities to accelerate.
And will take our next question from Ben Bollin with Cleveland Research.
I wanted to touch on the last one Nick the auto upload that it aggregate publish all of these items have been talked about for a period of time, where do you think you are and your ability to bring out a turnkey offering or a platform that can integrate those functions and then I have a follow up on the operating expense line item.
We’re committed to delivering this new experience in 2016 period. And as I noted you are going to start to see the first instances of that new experience in the form of our new GoPro for desktop content management application that we’ll be releasing in March. But 2016 is the year.
And then looking at the OpEx we’re going to be up sequentially here in calendar 1Q and as you said up sequentially throughout the year. How do you kind of mess that with the 7% headcount reduction that was discussed, why aren’t the figures going lower or are you paying higher salaries, what's the disconnect there?
Well there is a couple of things. The fourth quarter actually is a -- probably not a great comp for what our real true run-rate is. At the end of the year you have less payroll tax taxes we have more vacation, the company was really great about making sure they took time off and enjoying the holidays too, so and now there is probably that 150 we were at in this last quarter was probably a bit off of the normal run rate.
So if you were to kind of ratchet that up a bit the increases are not all that much, that said we’re investing that’s was business about. We've been saying for a quite a while that we can't cutter way out of this, we have to invest our way out of it. And we feel that we have the right set of products as we head throughout rest of the year. Nick talked a lot about the software today and the improvements we’re going to be making there and we think that the market opportunity in front of us is quite large and so this is the way to do it. So that's kind of our approach to it.
So we are getting the benefit -- financial benefit I should say of some of the restructuring, but on the other side of it we really are trying to reinvest that into the things that we think will drive the maximum growth.
And will take our next question from Will Power with Robert Baird.
I think couple of questions. Maybe first just a big clarification just thinking about channel inventory and the challenges I guess there in Q1 is your expectation based on forecast that's your channel inventory should be more balanced exiting the quarters, so it's not a headwind or less of a headwind of Q2 or could that continue to be one of the challenges you face in Q2?
Yeah it is our expectations that we should have it pretty well cleaned up by the end of the quarter. We spend a lot of time on this and clearly the hardest part about this is it really is based on what the ongoing demand is, but based on what we know today we think we have a pretty good approach to it. And then as Nick pointed out having a simplified product line well actually, probably increased the conversion quite a bit and so we think that that will only be a future benefit.
Okay I appreciate that. And the Tony in your remarks, you talked about some of the, I guess Facebook, Periscope, YouTube views et cetera. I guess I'd be interested in kind of your updated views on, how you are thinking about monetizing some of that exposure beyond what it does to the product sales and exposure from that area.
Yes it's a great question and I know it comes up frequently. I think what you can definitely see from us is a continued investment around our content initiatives. I spoke a lot about that correlation I can't give you any updates right now on monetization, it's something that’s always on our mind it's not [indiscernible], I would say that you’d want to factor it in the short term but we still see long-term opportunities there.
And will take our next question from Rob Cihra with Sterne Agee.
Two questions if I could, one just to confirm I think what was said, but just the -- what the inventories drive down required as you get rid of the low end, are you saying that should be out of the way before Q1, so it’s not going to be like because you are ending sales in April is that some of you don’t [indiscernible] again to Q2?
Okay. And then just one going back to the Session, obviously this has been an issue I guess a learning experience, whatever, all year long for you guys or the last six months anyway, yet you keep coming back you how -- it seems like you guys all really think it is a great product and it is now, selling well I guess now with the price half of where it started. Do you look at it as a product that just was miss-priced from the offset or is it more than that and as if you think it’s so good that you’re really getting rid of all your low end and just having this as the low-end. And I'm just wondering if -- what the mistake was along that way? Thank you.
Good question. We believe it was entirely about pricing. Session is arguably the best GoPro we've ever made and I've been around here. This is Nick. I've been around here for all of them. It's the most convenient “invisible capture solution” we've ever made its part reduction, it’s interface reduction, simple one button on/off to both photo and video capture reduction in parts that makes it easier to just pick it up and go use it and mount it in all the ways that our customers do.
So it's a massive enhancement in every regard and something that I am extremely proud of. Apple gets a lot of credit for developing an interface that two year olds can use iOS touch interface, and that’s something that we’ve always been envious of and I am happy to say that with Session we’ve produced a product that’s I can confirm a 1.5 year old kid can use because my son Bodie [ph] regularly picks up my Session, presses the button and follows the rest of the family around with it. And that’s a very meaningful breakthrough I am also saying it will be cute, the fact that a 1.5 year old can pick up a GoPro and have successfully used it is massive and we can’t say that about the other products that we make.
So, to summarize it was entirely about price and we’re now seeing the sell through rates and consumer appreciation that we were expecting when we designed the product and don’t take my word for it, go read reviews, customer reviews online at various online retailers and you’ll see that the consumer regardless of HERO4 Session very highly.
And I guess just to follow up, you think you can make that and still make gross margin, because obviously gross margin profile changed from the pricing. Do you think that you can still make that, a good product at 200 bucks and actually make a big gross margin on it?
I think you have to look at it as a portfolio of products. So we have certain products and we make better margins on and others that we make less on and our approach to this is by cleaning up the product line at the low end, we were selling some other products that were probably weren’t having the best gross margins. So, this is a much better replacement and our job is to optimize the cost on it. And we think we can do that. And so we think it will all work out just fine.
And we’ll take our next question from James [indiscernible] with Cowen & Company.
So, first question I have is on mix. Was there anything unusual in the mix between capture devices and accessories in the quarter?
This is Jack. So, I would say that the standalone accessory portion of our business in the fourth quarter was probably weaker than expected and was weaker than the impacted capture devices. So, yes it was a little bit lighter, and that will effect what I am assuming is your Street ASPs that you’re looking at.
That’s what I am working at, exactly. Then was there any revenue at all from the non-hardware type stuff, paid view, content, software, services?
There was, but we don’t get into that level of detail.
So not significant or not --. The next question that I have is that the guidance for next year or for the first quarter was a mid-point on gross margin of 36% and you said about 500 basis points was due to overhead absorption. So that would get us to about 41%. How does that -- does that have any impact on the long-term model which was higher than that?
The long-term model is 42%-44%, I think that we’re not changing that approach. As we’ve said on many occasions we’ll be above and below that at various different times. I think we can run a good business at these levels, not at the 29% level. We need to be a little higher than that.
And then finally what was the jump in other long-term assets?
That’s the reclassification for taxes. There is an accounting standards that came out that we’re implementing prospectively. And so that was just a reclassification from short-term to long-term.
And we’ll take our next question from Jim Duffy with Stifel.
My level of questioning is more high level, so you guys are the market, the numbers suggests the market is going in the wrong direction. You’re doubling down, wrapping the operating expenses across the year. Nick what if you’re wrong and improvements in the content management and editing don’t sell more capture devices. If the market really is at a glass ceiling, what’s the contingency plan to create shareholder value?
That’s a good question. Our business is dynamic and we would adjust our business as we see fit as the year progresses. But we are confident in our ability to bring this new experience to market in a timely fashion and we think that the strength of our existing communities, continued interest in GoPro and use of our products will have them be reengaged, if you will, by this new GoPro experience and that we think it's precisely what we need to attract new customers that we think fit our customer profile. But to specifically answer your question our business is dynamic and we would adjust it accordingly.
Jim, its Tony. The only thing I would add is, we are also entering new categories not as traditional as like digital camcorders as we talked about in market shares. Whether it's spherical, whether it's what we're doing in consumer drones and even though as long-term we're still making investments in the constant [ph] areas. So, we look at this business as a portfolio as well and so I think I wouldn't necessarily set a contingency, we're certainly investing in more than just traditional cameras.
Okay, and looks as if that that will conclude the questions for today's session. I would now like to turn the call over to the management of the company for any additional or closing remarks.
Thank you very much, Nicholas Woodman here. Before we sign off, I want to say good bye to our friend, colleague and CFO, Jack Lazar. In early 2014 we recruited Jack to help us take GoPro public and continue to scale our business. And for the last two years Jack has been a very strong leader and a massive contributor to our vision. Last year, we hired Brian McGee, a 30 year finance veteran who served as CFO of two publicly traded companies, to serve as Jack's successor. That day has come. Brian will be formally appointed the CFO in March. Brian, we're excited to have you onboard and Jack we are massively going to miss you.
But now that you're going to be on the beach, I hope you finally learn how to surf. Thank you all for joining us today. This is team GoPro, signing off.
That does conclude today's conference. Thank you for your participation.
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