Whether it’s Uber, Turo, or Airbnb, the sharing economy has been behind some of the biggest changes in how people use their car or home. Wedio has launched a new twist on photo and video gear rentals that might just change how everyone buys and owns their next camera.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how your next camera might be a subscription, where I explored some of the potential changes to the traditional dealer-based business model. It’s been an idea that has interested me for a while, as these same trends are already shaping other capital-intensive markets like cars and homes.
What makes Wedio special is their merging of a pro-film gear subscription with the ability to rent that gear out to other users. Through this model, photographers and videographers can reduce their costs on both ends by paying a subscription fee far smaller than the upfront purchase price and further reducing that cost by renting out that gear through the marketplace when it’s unused.
While Wedio’s rental service has already been around for a while, with over 3,000 members and over 10 million euros worth of gear, their subscription service is brand new. The subscriptions cover cameras, lenses, audio, lighting, and supports like tripods or gimbals. Once you’ve rented a piece of gear, you’re only paying a fixed monthly cost, which you can further reduce by “subletting” that gear to other users on their platform. Wedio claims you only need to rent the gear out for two to five days per month to cover the whole subscription, if you choose to do so.
For the user, the terms are quite flexible. Pricing is based on a monthly payment, with no hidden fees or shipping cost. Included in that figure is global insurance coverage for things like accidents and theft, which can represent another savings to pros who’d otherwise need to purchase a separate policy. Additionally, those payments can also count towards the future outright purchase of the gear, providing a clear path to ownership if desired. Lastly, the subscription can be discontinued at any time.
In any of these marketplaces, one of the biggest factors is the availability of the product, and this is one area where Wedio succeeds. Taking a look at cameras, for instance, shows 39 different bodies available, covering everything from GoPros to ARRI ALEXA and RED. The same holds for all their other categories, with dozens of the newest releases showing up from the major, marquee brands.
I’ll be very interested to see how Wedio executes on this strategy, as I think it holds a lot of promise for photographers and videographers. Whether you’re just getting started in the space or are looking to expand and update your equipment, you now have another option besides shelling out thousands of dollars to buy the gear upfront. Combining that subscription with a sharing economy marketplace offers even more flexibility for users, making this a very attractive option for creators.