Catalog and Publication Outlook : Multiple Platform Providers

Top 5 Publication and Catalog Printers. (Double click chart to enlarge.)

Despite some optimistic signs 
for the magazine and catalog printing segments in 2011, economic and industry uncertainty, multi-channel integration, postal increases and increased supply chain costs were issues that still lingered from 2010. There was, however, some good news for magazine publishers this year, as advertising sales levels 
began to rebound.

According to the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB), publishers saw a 2.1 percent increase in advertising revenue through the third quarter of 2011, despite a slight 1.1 percent decrease in advertising pages. Consumer magazine ad revenue and pages grew in five of the 12 major advertising categories during the first three quarters, with double-digit page gains for Toiletries & Cosmetics, Apparel & Accessories and Financial.

The B2B segment also experienced a comeback through the first three quarters of 2011. The outlook for advertising in 2012 also looks positive, as some analysts believe that total U.S. advertising spending will continue to grow, and digital ad revenue will increase for consumer magazines.

Finding the Right Mix

A key focus for publishers and catalogers was how to continue to leverage their multi-channel marketing strategies. “Some publishers began to reorganize to better align their sales and marketing structures to support multi-
platform products. They also integrated digital content creation into their unified brand teams,” points out Rick Marcoux, president of RR Donnelley magazine and commercial services. “Publishers accelerated development of, and investment in, publishing processes and technologies to extend their reach to mobile, e-reader and other ’third screen’ devices.”

RR Donnelley is helping its publishing clients integrate both print and digital platforms through the use of QR codes, generalized URL (GURL) and personalized URL (pURL) solutions. Its CustomPoint Solutions Group is also helping clients drive traffic from one channel to another. The latest version of its DigiMag 6.5 digital publishing solution has been enhanced for magazine publishers to now offer support for the Apple Newsstand storefront, Android tablet devices and apps for the Android storefront.

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