Top 20 Magazine Printers: Magazine Printers Dealt a Body Blow
It’s no scoop, but the big story on the printing industry this year has been the recession, which delivered a body blow to an already reeling magazine marketplace. The precipitous decline in ad revenue, and therefore pages, has obviously hit the industry hard—but not unaware. Plans to work with magazine publishers to retool business models proceed apace, with increasing emphasis on efficiencies in traditional manufacturing and distribution even as printers move to become full-service content management solutions providers. The big questions for printers are strategic: whether and how to consolidate in the face of a shrinking market, what investments are necessary, and what services and solutions publishers will be asking for around the next bend. In this period of adjustment, preparing for new technologies and future growth must be balanced by caution.
For its annual state of the printing industry report, Publishing Executive sought the perspectives of executives at major printing companies whose decisions will help shape the market’s future. The interviews complement Publishing Executive’s annual list of top magazine printers in the United States and Canada, ranked by total magazine printing revenue (see below). This year’s installment shows that, despite the economic meltdown, for 2008 at least, many companies managed to stem losses and even post revenue gains.
What are the most important changes or trends in the magazine printing market over the past year?
Kevin J. Clarke, President, Quebecor World Publishing Services Group: The most prominent change in our publishers’ businesses is the drop in advertising revenue and paging. In addition to volume, the impact of that trend on the printing market is the challenge to help our publishers move to a new business model. Deliverables such as schedule compression, automated workflows, format changes, print-on-demand and value-added services have gained increasing importance, and have been front and center in our discussions with our publishers in the last year.