Newsstand and Deliver
The Postal Rate Commission had not reached a final decision by this issue's press time, but there seemed to be reason for optimism that challenges to the increase would bear a positive result. In 2001, publication printers are expected to continue, and perhaps accelerate, their efforts to expand into services beyond traditional printing. For example, the Premedia Technologies unit of R.R. Donnelley & Sons rolled out its new AdSpring advertising page tracking and management system recently. AdSpring reportedly can integrate with a publisher's internal systems and uses a standard, Internet browser-based interface.
To cut to the bottom line, Printing Industries of America's recently released "Vision 21" study projects printing shipments of periodicals to increase by 5.6 percent (compound rate) between 2000 and 2003. That hardly sounds like a death knell. The Beat Goes On To check the industry's pulse, we asked key executives at several of the major publication printers to answer the same question: What is your forecast for the publication market in the year 2001, in terms of business conditions and challenges/opportunities?
John Paloian, president of the Magazine/Catalog Group at Quebecor World: Following an outstanding 2000 in terms of advertising revenue and pages, we anticipate 2001 will bring a leveling off of some of the advertising excitement of a strong economy and the very active technology and "dot-com" sector.
As advertising stabilizes, we feel there will be increased consolidation among publishers, and greater interplay between "new" and "traditional" media. Quebecor World's Targeted Publication and Catalog Group continues to experience strong growth. Of particular importance to the specialty publication market is the changing demographics of the aging baby-boomers. As a group, they are strong magazine readers, and have a growing amount of discretionary free time and money.
This should enhance their interest in publications targeted to their leisure-time passions. Francis R. Costello, president, Magazine Publishing Services, R.R. Donnelley & Sons: Our forecast for the year 2001 is optimistic, and we think it will be another solid year in the publishing industry. However, a number of publishers are not planning as many launches next year as in 2000. Advertisements have been the primary driver and are dependent on a strong economy. Next year's economy is expected to grow slowly and, with expected cost increases in postage and paper, ad rates will be raised to cover these costs.