Catalog/Publication Outlook : Preserving a Strong Base

Top 5 Publication Printers

Top 5 Catalog Printers

For instance, a longtime magazine print customer began to extend its reach to readers through a digital edition provided via RR Donnelley’s DigiMag product, Marcoux notes. Starting with the replica edition, RR Donnelley currently creates animations, designs interactive videos, offers translations into three languages and provides publications for 15 countries. “We are now converting to mobile apps on both the Apple and Android platforms,” he explains.

Although the publishing industry reports declining ad pages and circulation numbers, there were some positive outcomes in 2013, including a slight increase in title launches and fewer shutterings. In any given survey, the results can be interpreted with a “glass half-empty” or “glass half-full” mentality. These executives remain hopeful.

“Many of our magazine clients are reporting increases in page counts and circulation, with print still generating the commanding share of subscription and advertising revenues,” Blais remarks.

Transcontinental’s Jensen is encouraged by an Association of Magazine Media (MPA) report that indicates print ad revenue increased 1.6 percent through the third quarter. “There’s also evidence that some marketers are shifting dollars to print as the novelty of digital advertising disappears,” he says. “Far more people ignore digital ads than read them.”

Several digital-only publications have also resumed their print versions, according to RR Donnelley’s Marcoux. For consumer publications, the trend towards developing high-grossing special editions around celebrations and anniversaries has also helped reduce the loss of newsstand sales in the checkout aisle, he says.

In addition, magazine publishers are continuing to experiment with creative paywalls. “Some have moved to a paywall model rather than an advertising model,” Marcoux explains. Others have embraced the “Netflix subscription style,” as he calls it. This approach allows readers access to all they can consume for one price.

On the catalog front, there is no better medium than the printed page to deliver a memorable, tactile shopping experience to the reader, contends John Coyle, group president, sales, at RR Donnelley. “Printed catalogs have staying power and, when combined with other features such as fragrances, textured varnish and targeted inserts, they provide a multi-sensory experience that does not end with the content on the page,” he says.

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