Ron Davis, Printing Industries of America vice president and chief economist, has released a financial report focusing on the long-term future of print and print markets. The report explores how leveraging multiple functions of print can increase the longevity and viability of a printer’s success in the marketplace.
The report breaks down print products and services into three different categories:
• Print intended to inform or communicate factual and editorial information such a magazines, newspapers, books, and reports.
• Print providing product logistics to manufactured products—packaging, labels, wrappers, and product user manuals.
• Print intended to market, promote, or sell various products, services, political candidates, positions, or ideas—marketing and promotional print such as catalogs, direct mail, and brochures.
Of the three functions, only one—print logistics—is not subject to competition and substitution by digital media. Conversely, print’s “inform or communicate” function is subject to the highest risk of substitution from digital media. Print as a marketing, promotion and sales media appears to be in the middle.
In the future, based on projections from the last 10 years, while the number of printing plants is reduced, surviving plants in the marketing and logistics function will see substantial growth in shipments while surviving plants specializing in the information experience sales declines.