This Year’s Top Three Drivers of Print

There’s an uptick in the print business. Yep, print. This year and next are on track to make an impressive recovery for print manufacturers, with predicted revenues rising to $199.5 billion.

This revenue increase is up 3% from 2017 according to an article on by Vincent Mallardi, head of the Printing Brokerage Buyers Association and adjunct professor in International Economics, Marketing and Finance.

Here are the top three forecasted big drivers of print revenue reported by Mallardi:

1)    Packaged Foods is the top spot with the highest demand for printed products. Buyers are looking for features like longer shelf life and tamper proofing. And they are willing to pay more for that flexible packaging. The biggest demands in this segment are for point-of-sale and promotional inserts, which will account for a combined total of 23% of the revenue for this sector.

2)    The Medical/Pharmaceutical business is also holding steady. Healthcare reform is expected to keep this industry in second place with all the materials needed to communicate on the topic: letters, folders, inserts, billboards, etc.

Interestingly, there is also pressure from lobbyists to put a stop to pharma TV advertising. If that happens, the spill over to print media will be fairly substantial.

3)    The Publishing, Non-Newspaper sector jumped up two spots in one year to number three (as shocking as that might be)! If you are wondering how this is possible when it seems like magazines left and right are closing shop, don’t forget about all the special-interest publications, like trade periodicals, that happen to be holding their own right now. New publications reflective of the new social climate and other verticals are on the way, which should account for 26% of this sector.

What makes me the happiest is seeing the uptick in books (both hard and soft-cover) up 7%!  Production inkjet printing combined with on-demand workflows are bringing to life short-run titles and self-publishing. Large publishers are poised to re-open backlists and introduce new titles – some will be universal literature translated from other cultures. Rare books and recreational print will rise as the population ages.

On an interesting side note, the telephone directory business that you thought was dead is actually doing well. Seriously! The huge yellow books that used to be printed for every town in America are no longer needed, but they have gained traction with small-business, and special-circumstance publishers that print for ethnic groups, veterans, immigrants and just about any other vertical you can think of.

It’s more evidence of technology and culture shifting to the way in which we utilize paper, not just our consumption habits.




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