Top 25 Magazine Printers
It's no surprise that the companies that come to mind when one strikes up a conversation about publication printers are at the top of PrintMedia's list of printers ranked by 2004 magazine revenue.
Giant RR Donnelley tops the list, posting $1.88 billion. This figure, however, includes catalog sales and inserts, which is how it reports its earnings to its investors. Quebecor World was second ($1.66 million), followed by Quad Graphics ($740 million), and Brown Printing ($320 million).
Most magazine printers enter 2005 bolstered by encouraging news from the Publishers Information Bureau, which reported ad pages for 2004 up 3.8 percent compared to 2003, despite declines for the first four months of the year.
But they can expect the climate to remain competitive, says Steven Schnoll, media consultant in New Providence, N.J. Prices have gotten so low that publication printers are looking to offer value-added services to maintain and win contracts, he adds. "Those companies who are developing a lot of offshoots of their printing capabilities are going to drive a little bit better than some of the others," says Schnoll.
Some of the most pressing challenges publication printers will face in 2005 are:
• the development of an industry-wide PDF standard,
• a demand from customers for shorter print cycles,
• rising postal costs,
• rising paper and materials costs, and
• providing customers with greater efficiencies to improve profits.
Schnoll says PDF standardization is the biggest challenge, pointing out that, although Time Inc. set the standard for implementing the use of PDF X-1a for ad delivery, only time will tell if all publishers will begin implementing it.
In The Driver's Seat
One company that has taken the lead in developing added-value services, Schnoll says, is Cadmus Communications (fifth on our list) in Richmond, Va. One of its offshoots is Cadmus Ad and Asset Management Services, which its customers can use to access their ads and other digital assets over the Web.