IBISWorld Report: Digital Media Siphoning Demand Away From Printing

NEW YORK—September 4, 2014—The printing industry, which includes large commercial printers and local print shops, endured a variety of challenges over the past five years. Consumers are increasingly favoring digital alternatives to printed materials, such as online media. “For many media products, printed text has become too slow and costly to produce,” commented IBISWorld Industry Analyst Omar Khedr. Moreover, during the past five years, demand for print advertisements, a key demand driver for this industry, has consistently fallen. As a result, newer forms of media, including digital, have been siphoning demand from this industry. Consequently, the printing industry is in decline, and revenue is expected to decrease during the five years to 2014. In 2014, revenue is expected to decrease, hindered by an increase in the price of paper.

“Decreasing sales volumes and the application of downward pressure on unit selling prices have also hampered industry profit during the past five years,” said Khedr. Printing requires substantial capital investment in new technology to remain competitive in times of excess capacity. Due to the relatively low amount of customer orders, overcapacity has contributed to the long-term trend of industry consolidation. Consequently, during the five years to 2014, the number of commercial printing companies is expected to fall. Industry consolidation has allowed larger printers with economies of scale and access to strong financing to adopt more efficient equipment, while simultaneously slashing employment and wages. Additionally, plant closures and layoffs have caused industry employment to decline during the five years to 2014.

During the next five years, the Printing industry is anticipated to continue to contract, albeit at a slightly slower pace. Industry revenue is expected to contract during the five years to 2019. In addition to expected revenue declines, industry operators will also need to contend with higher material costs; for example, the price of paper is expected to increase during the five-year period. Furthermore, substitutes to commercially printed material, such as online media, will continue to adversely affect industry activity. Moving forward, printers will need to diversify into cross-media products to adapt to declining demand, including multimedia layout and design.

IBISWorld Industry Report Key Topics
Companies in the paper industry are primarily engaged in printing on paper, textile products, metal, glass, plastic and other materials, with the exception of fabric. Industry operators engage a variety of printing processes including lithographic, gravure, screen, flexographic, digital and letterpress. This industry does not include publishers that also perform printing, nor does it comprise companies that perform prepress or postpress services without traditional printing.

  • Industry Performance
  • Executive Summary
  • Key External Drivers
  • Current Performance
  • Industry Outlook
  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Products and Markets
  • Supply Chain
  • Products and Services
  • Major Markets
  • Globalization and Trade
  • Business Locations
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Market Share Concentration
  • Key Success Factors
  • Cost Structure Benchmarks
  • Barriers to Entry
  • Major Companies
  • Operating Conditions
  • Capital Intensity
  • Key Statistics
  • Industry Data
  • Annual Change
  • Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every U.S. industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide.

Source: IBISWorld Inc.

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