Nov 5, 2013
The World Publishing Expo, the largest global trade fair for the newspaper and news publishing industry was held in Berlin, Germany, from the 7th to the 9th of October. It was the 43rd annual exhibition and conference and featured 267 exhibitors from 35 countries, including printing press manufacturers, editorial and advertising system providers, new media providers and other suppliers to the industry.
About 8,500 visitors from 90 countries attended. The 8,500 visitors were an increase from 7,000 who attended the 2012 Expo, which was held in Frankfurt, Germany. It is nevertheless a far cry from the heydays of the newspaper industry when publishers ordered presses by the dozen, invested in dedicated editorial systems, and newspaper publishers routinely had a return on revenue in the 20% range. These cases are pretty rare nowadays as newspapers are on one of the most embattled print segments. Not only is there a massive shift of readership from printed copies to electronic displays, additionally the base business model of publisher is under threat: charging for news content in the light of free electronic news sources. As a result, circulation is dropping across the industrialised countries. According to WAN-IFRA, newspaper circulation dropped by about 25% in Europe in the last four years, with North American circulation dropping by 12% in the same timeframe. There are bright spots however with noticeable gains in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Still with anÂ average daily circulationÂ of over 522 million newspaper copies worldwide in 2012, printed newspapers is a very sizeable market.Â Newspaper publishers know that they need to shift their business model from traditional mass print production to different forms of publishing however. Read more »
Aug 29, 2013
Print is driven by applications and production digital printing is no exception. Demand for certain applications, however, changes over time due to various reasons, such as growth in usage, electronic replacement, personalization, and the move to shorter runs. The change in demand will have a profound impact on production digital printing in competition with other processes as well as between different digital product groups. InfoTrends just published its 2012-2017 production digital print application forecast for the U.S. and Western Europe. It details application volumes and volume growth for 28 print applications in seven main application groups for the main categories of production digital printing devices.
Main Production Digital Printing Applications and Application Groups
The application forecast draws from many sources. InfoTrends’ consulting staff conducts ongoing primary and secondary research in the marketplace to determine the print volume share of the applications and volume trends. The underlying print volume forecast is based on published forecasts, which provide market size in terms of installed base, average monthly print volume, retail value of print, and other factors.
As an example, here is a view of some of the top production digital print applications in Western Europe (by absolute page growth).
10 Fastest Growing Applications in Production Digital Print in Western Europe 2012 to 2017
Read more »
Jul 10, 2013
In 2012 Xeikon announced that it had acquired a research company active in liquid toner electrophotography. Its intellectual property provided the foundation upon which Xeikon is developing a liquid toner based printer. The technology was presented publicly for the first time at drupa 2012 with a single station unit shown behind glass printing at 60 meters per minute as a technology demonstration, but without showing or handing out print samples.
Cross-section view of Xeikon Trillium print towers
Though interesting, this technology demonstration did not fully convey the potential of the technology. Now Xeikon has made public some more details on the technology and its planned first product implementation, which show how the company intends to challenge inkjet technologies at higher volumes.
According to Xeikon, Trillium is targeted at high quality print applications, similar to the current 8000 Series dry toner printers, but designed for higher print volumes and with an improved cost structure that will challenge not only inkjet, but also provide an improved break-even point versus offset. In short, Trillium is an extension of the Xeikon product portfolio of document printers. The company plans to position the technology for demanding high coverage colour applications that inkjet cannot reach from a quality or cost perspective.
Read more »
Apr 26, 2013
InfoTrends recently published the United States and Western European digital production placements numbers and market shares. As every observer of the world economy would have guessed the latest numbers are less than stellar. 2012 was not as bad as when the financial crisis of 2008/2009 hit the markets, but most segments declined with only a few product segments showing growth.
Overall installation numbers for digital production printing devices in the U.S. and Western Europe declined by 6.6% to 114,792 units in 2012. This is less of a reason for concern however, as we expected a decline in entry level devices which have a large share of the overall installations – in line with the declining number of small print establishments like copy shops, quick printers and CRDs (More details can be found in our establishment sizing reports for U.S. and Western Europe). After all, low-end devices produce little print volume anyway. We had already observed that with the production digital copy/print market maturing there is a shift towards higher volume devices, competing more and more for higher run lengths. To some extent that shift continued in 2012, although some high-end segments declined as well. For example the heavy production colour segment (1M to 10M duty cycle range) declined by 20%. A drop in this segment was not unexpected due to the drupa impact and for reasons within the product portfolio, but it was amplified by the difficult economic situation as well. Read more »
Mar 11, 2013
The idea behind dandelion distribution is simple. Imagine thousands of dandelion seeds being spread by the wind. Of these, only a few may ever grow into dandelions, but that’s enough. As it relates to e-books, dandelion distribution happens when reproduction and distribution are so cheap as to be virtually free. This idea is encapsulated in the book Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, and it was also discussed at length during one of the keynote sessions at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference (February 12-14 in New York City).
Panelist Cory Doctorow (more on him at Craphound.com) suggested that book publishers consider replacing their traditional “mammalian intuition” (i.e., the idea that each book is precious and must be protected by any means) with “dandelion intuition” (where it is acknowledged that any individual book has a small chance of success and therefore the strategy should be designed around spreading as many ‘seeds’ as possible). This concept goes against traditional publishing logic, but so did a lot of other ideas at the conference.
Read more »
Oct 24, 2012
Last week’s announcement that the print edition of Newsweek magazine would cease at the end of 2012 shined a spotlight on the digital disruption that has accelerated business transformation for traditional publishers. It’s not like magazine publishers have their head in the sand; for over a decade, they have been forging ahead in a digital direction, trying a variety of strategies and tactics to grow their digital audience, increase online ad revenue, and monetize their content. Nevertheless, the sheer velocity of transformation in the last few years has forced magazine publishers of all sizes (and media companies in general) to be much more agile and innovative.
Magazines clearly remain an attractive outlet for advertisers, especially as digital channels attract new audiences and provide engaging andÂ measurableÂ advertising experiences. To that point, the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) recently released research conducted by Kantar Media highlighting that the number of brands advertising in magazine media–including print, web, and tablet channels–grew from just over 9,500 in the first half of 2010 to almost 15,000 in the first half of 2012. Advertisers value magazine media, especially as it extends to more interactive, data-rich channels. Read more »
Oct 18, 2012
Newsweek, the venerableÂ 79-year-old weekly magazine announced it will discontinue its print edition to become digital-only by the end of the year. The publication has been struggling for years with circulation dropping from over 4 million in 2003 to around 1.5 million in 2012. By my estimate the decision will eliminate approximately 5 billion 8.5×11 equivalent pages from the printing industry and 79 million pieces of mail per year.
Tina Brown, Newsweek’s editor-in-chief, broke the news on The Daily Beast which is also controlled byÂ IAC/InterActiveCorp.Â Ms. Brown, in explaining why the publication is going digital-only stated,Â “This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism–that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”
Ahhh, how quickly people change their views. Less than two years ago when IAC/InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller was finalizing negotiations Read more »
Aug 16, 2012
In many markets digital printing is maturing and while there is still good growth in colour printing, when combined with a decline in black & white digital print volume, the total growth rate is not that impressive (see also the blog on POD growth in US and Europe). But this is not the case for all countries and to find an exception we do not have to look very far.
Russia is by far the largest country in Central and Eastern Europe and since the year 2000 the Russian GDP has more than doubled. Apart from a dip in 2009 the economy has been growing rapidly and is poised to continue on that path. In fact, the Russian nominal GDP growth (including exchange rate effects and not adjusted for inflation) between 2000 and 2009 was better than China.
Not all industries in Russia have experienced growth at this rate however and the printing and publishing industries are among those that are lagging behind — not an unusual picture as printing demand generally follows the growth of other industries and requires an infrastructural framework that takes time to build up. InfoTrends held conferences on digital printing and publishing in Russia for several years and the interest in digital technology was obvious. It was also obvious that the market was still in an early phase.
But with improvements in the postal system and distribution infrastructure, a rise in advertising and publishing activities, and general growth in wealth, the demand for all kinds of print is rising. Not having a strong legacy in analogue printing is probably helping the digital print market and we certainly noticed growth in digital production equipment installations over recent years. Now, with a couple of years’ experience in tracking and observing the Russian digital printing market, the time has come for InfoTrends to publish a detailed Russian digital printing forecast for the first time. Read more »
May 4, 2012
With a plethora of content sources and expanding number of media channels to choose from, consumers have their pick of where and how to get their information. While print is generally expected to come at a cost, the Internet has opened up the number of digital sources for information, often at no cost and varying quality, competing with traditional media brands and their content.Â The increase in number of sources also drives an increase in competition for ad-sponsorship, leading to a recent rise in Â paywall or digital subscription models. As a result, advertisers, publishers, media brand owners, and content creators of all sizes are looking beyond their traditional business models to find new ways to monetize their content. Read more »
Apr 26, 2012
ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿On April 23, Adobe Systems announced the latest release of its Creative Suite toolset version 6.0, and formally announced the launch of its new Creative Cloud service. Â Adobe livestreamed a video kick-off where its president and CEO, Shantanu Narayen, spoke an “explosion of digital expression” in society, where the urge to create has never been greater than it is now. To highlight this point, Adobe leveraged statistics from a recent global research study it commissioned called “State of Create,” which investigated attitudes and beliefs about creativity in society. It used the study’s finding of a “creativity gap” to drive home the value of its Creative Cloud offering, which includes low-cost subscriptions to Adobe’s array of professional design applications. Read more »