PUBLICATIONS - Newsstand and Deliver
This segmentation of the market has some obvious and not so obvious implications for printers. Responding to the increased demand for shorter runs of magazines is an obvious challenge and opportunity. This has led publication printers to expand some facilities and upgrade others with more flexible equipment.
One of the most recent examples is the mid-year announcement from Banta Corp. that it was undertaking a $15 million expansion of its Banta Publications Group plant in Greenfield, OH. Construction currently is under way, with completion scheduled for April 2001 and plant startup to follow on June 1.
As part of the announcement, Banta Corp. Chairman Donald D. Belcher noted, "Special-interest magazines remain one of our fastest growing print markets and we are committed to supporting future growth through key investments in people, technologies and equipment. This is a business we have identified for future aggressive growth."
The capability to handle shorter runs is just part of production flexibility increasingly being demand by publishers, Husni claims. It's becoming ever more common for magazines to be customized and personalized in a variety of ways, he points out. The use of multiple covers by consumer magazines is a prime example
"It's not uncommon for a newsstand magazine to have two covers, or even four or more covers. TV Guide recently had 24 different covers for an issue. Research is now being done that shows an increase in sales whenever a magazine does more than one cover," Husni says.
A not-so-obvious implication of the growth in special-interest titles is the effect it may have on the total number of pages printed. The publishing industry is attempting to maximize its marketing and distribution efforts, Husni adds. "The sell-through rate for newsstand magazines still is only about three out of 10 copies. Instead of printing lots of copies and throwing them every where, hoping someone will pick one up, publishers are studying the marketplace to laser-target distribution."