Custom Publishing’s Growth Spurt Continues: An Interview with Lori Rosen, Executive Director, Custom Publishing Council
Newly released findings from a study on custom publishing show that customized content is growing at a faster rate than traditional media. According to “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Custom Publications in America,” headed up by the Custom Publishing Council (CPC), the steady, upward trend of custom publishing statistics is due to increased spending by corporate America, a surge in high-revenue businesses, and a consistent move from the newsletter format to the magazine format. The study reports elevated numbers throughout the custom publishing industry, including number of titles, pages, color and revenue. Lori Rosen, executive director of the CPC, spoke with Inbox about today’s custom publishing climate.
Inbox: Can you give us some background on the study including whether this is the first of its kind, how it came about, etc.?
Lori Rosen: We have been measuring the industry since 1999, so this study reflects a seven-year trend. It is conducted in partnership with Publications Management, a [custom publishing]industry newsletter. We examine all types of industry characteristics, from how much color is being used, to the average size and distribution of custom publications to the migration (or not) to Web-based content. That way our members can use the research to educate their clients and prospects. If there is great growth, more pages, more issues—then that the medium must be working.
Inbox: What were a couple of highlights you believe are important to take away from the study’s findings?
Rosen: The overall dollar figure spent on custom publishing rose more than 20 percent from the year before: from $45.8 billion to $55.6 billion. That number includes all expenses, including personnel, printing, distribution and overhead for all custom publications, regardless of whether they were outsourced or not. But nonetheless, [that number] is huge and continues to increase substantially every year. That, to me, is the bottom line: This industry is seeing consistent and substantial growth since 1999.