The USB duplicator industry seems to have taken off somewhat in the last 3 month. After 2 years of seeming relatively benign we have recently seen a flurry of new products. We’ve been selling the USB and SD card copiers from StorDigital for some 2 years, but notable new devices come from Nexcopy with the NexCopy Flash Drive Duplicator and Microboards USB Copiers.
But just where is the USB duplication market heading? Since my days as Head of Internet for Ministry of Sounds we have been trying to predict the potential for the USB key in music and data distribution. The problem for those familiar with the duplication market producing DVD an CD, is that the USB key is costs more per unit, is perceived as having a higher value and is re-usable. It therefore does not fit the model for high volume duplication and distribution for titles that usually ship on discs.
So what role will the USB key have in distribution and how can duplication service providers build it into their revenue models?
Certainly there is the potential to provide specialist duplication service and supply hardware within vertical markets. At CD-writer.com we have supplied USB duplication solutions for the Ministry of Defence, who use SD cards to update their fleet of military vehicles. Clearly this is a small and very specialised market. But comparable opportunties can be found in a range of markets and industries.
Additionally there will be opportunities for corporate gifts and promotional products.
Whilst we do not see a boom for USB card duplication there is clearly a growing need from some quarters.
Watch this space for a full review of all the flash card copiers on the market.