First “drupa Global Trends” Report Reveals Industry Trends

CHICAGO—March 4, 2014—drupa (held next in Düsseldorf, Germany, May 31-June 10, 2016) will publish two report series entitled “drupa Global Trends” and “drupa Global Insights,” which will study for the first time the trends and major changes in the international print and media sector at both global and regional levels. The first “drupa Global Trends” report with an analysis of the worldwide printing and media sector has now been published.

The results of this report are based on answers provided by a representative panel consisting of leading executives from printing companies, suppliers and print purchasers from around the world, selected primarily from the drupa 2012 visitor and exhibitor database. The drupa organizer Messe Düsseldorf has appointed the two independent consulting and market research companies Printfuture (UK) and Wissler & Partner (Switzerland) to conduct these two report series. Despite reporting significant regional variations, the “drupa Global Trends” report reveals a number of critical—and sometimes surprising—trends that are shared by all economic regions and across print segments (publishing, packaging and commercial). As expected, the report confirmed that the global printing industry’s structural transformation is still ongoing, with increasing costs coupled with declining prices and shrinking margins. However, three other major findings of the study are more crucial:

  1. There are clear signs that economic conditions are improving. As a consequence, the printing industry globally is planning increased investment over the next twelve months. Efficiency gains and the development of new services are driving investment in the industrialized countries. North America is leading the way by gearing up for major transformation with high levels of investment in printing technology, IT and new services. In the emerging countries growing demand is the main driver.
  2. The printing industry is in the midst of a transition from a product-driven industry to a service-driven one. The demand for new solutions and business models that better reflect the customer needs is evident.
  3. Digital printing plays an increasing role in the technology mix deployed. Among print services providers, 65 percent produce using both conventional and digital methods and one-third of commercial printers already gain a quarter or more of their turnover from digital printing. But conventional printing (especially sheet-fed offset) continues to be an important pillar for the print sector. Planned investment reflects this point as 29 percent of all printers stated that they intend to invest in sheet-fed offset printing.

“Thanks to these two report series, drupa is able to offer first-rate, representative market data and information that will enable the market players—be they providers of print services, suppliers or print purchasers—to make better strategic decisions. In addition, the reports will allow variations between the world’s major economic regions to be analyzed. Finally, the insights gained will serve to further improve drupa’s positioning,” commented Werner Dornscheidt, president and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.

This first “drupa Global Trends” report provides an initial assessment of the state of the global printing industry. In order to monitor the trends going forward, the survey will be repeated in the fourth quarter each year. In addition, drupa will publish a series of “Global Insight” reports offering detailed analysis into specific industry-relevant topics. A report on “The Impact of the Internet on Print” will start off the series in June 2014. The objective will be to show the effects of the Internet, e-commerce, digital marketing, mass customization and IT on the printing industry and to illustrate how future strategies and business models need to adapt.

Some 2,500 decision-makers from across the globe (119 countries) participated in the survey in the fourth quarter of 2013. The majority (58 percent) were print services providers, followed by suppliers (21 percent) and print purchasers (21 percent).

A summary of the survey results is available for download.

The complete English-language report in PDF format is available from Messe Düsseldorf ( for EUR 249.

Source: Messe Düsseldorf.

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