InfoTrends Study Identifies Printing Industry Opportunities and Threats

WEYMOUTH, MA—June 20, 2011—InfoTrends’ latest study, “Production Print Services in North America: An Evolution in Progress,” reveals how changing customer behaviors and economic pressures are shaping the future for print service providers. These factors are requiring printers to become more innovative, productive, and cost effective. Value-added services will be a high growth area in the print-for-pay and in-plant markets over the next two years; however, there are notable differences in how the two market segments have responded to tough economic times, as well as their future investment intentions.

Through a combination of email surveys, phone interviews, and desk research, InfoTrends gathered responses from 687 print service provider professionals to gain a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and issues impacting these markets. In addition to the traditional printing industry segments such as commercial litho, digital printing specialists, quick/franchise and in-plant print centers, InfoTrends obtained substantial feedback from direct mailers, data processing service bureaus, and in-plant data centers.

“The analysis reveals that value-added services will grow 18 percent over the next two years based on an estimated percentage of income,” commented Steve Adoniou, a director at InfoTrends. “However, print-for-pay establishments are more aggressive in investing in their businesses and targeting other customer segments, such as marketing professionals, in addition to traditional print buyers. Although in-plants’ revenues were hit harder during the weak economy, they have a lower propensity to invest in new capabilities and service offerings.”

The study highlights a clear transition in the market, as digital continues to cannibalize offset print volumes. Approximately 70 percent or more of both in-plants and print-for-pay establishments agree that print is migrating increasingly to full color, and that run lengths are getting shorter. The key issue is that notable percentages of both groups are not seeing revenue growth. This is a critical factor driving significant market consolidation and the need to invest in new capabilities.