Market Research
Sustainably sourced packaged material is becoming increasingly important in Canadians’ purchasing decisions, with 62 percent of Canadians willing to pay more for such products, according to a new survey conducted by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Canada.
Change is on the horizon — an adage that holds truer today than most sayings. Last month PrintAction attended the inaugural Printing United tradeshow in Dallas, Texas, and within a few hours of walking the show floor, there are an undeniable observation: OEMs and printers alike are embracing convergence, the concept of researching and strategically entering market segments outside of their traditional core offerings.
The paper industry is dead. Or at least that’s what consumers are led to believe. As the world digitized, the news was filled with projected declines in paper consumption and subsequent revenue. Not only that, as more North Americans believe climate change is real, the pulp and paper industry has become a target of energy consumption, sustainability and deforestation concerns.
Hearst Magazines, one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, recently announced a new product designed to help its advertisers reach potential customers through targeted print advertising. Created by Hearst Data Studio, MagMatch will use first-party data to track readers’ online behaviour to understand what products they are interested in. It will then work with the brands of those products to deliver customized ads to the same readers through the print magazine.
Packaging solutions have delivered greater value over the past five years, indicates a new research study by research and consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
The global print industry is in stable condition overall, according to the 6th drupa Global Trends Report, released by Messe Düsseldorf last month. Based on two separate surveys conducted by Printfuture and Wissler & Partner last fall, one each to more than 700 printers and 200 suppliers, the report finds global figures remain positive. However political and economic concerns for the future appear to be dampening otherwise positive prospects for the majority of respondents.
HP today unveiled its framework, The Personalization Pinwheel, to help brand owners tap into the growing personalization market. Informed by insights from more than 45 million online conversations across the globe, the framework hones in on what motivates consumers to personalize – from photo books to magazine covers to consumer packaged goods – and how brands can capitalize on those motivations.
A new report on the global paper, packaging and forest products industry compiled by Moody’s Investor Service says the outlook for next year has been changed to stable from positive, based on lower-than-expected earnings.
Value in the world inkjet market will rise at 9.4 percent across the next five years according to the latest research from Smithers Pira. This will push a market worth US$69.6 billion (all figures in U.S. dollars) globally in 2018, to a value of $109 billion in 2023. The volume of work on inkjet presses will rise from 748.7 billion A4 prints to 1.42 trillion across the same period.
RISI, an information provider for the global forest products industry, announced today its parent company, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, has acquired Random Lengths, a price reporting agency for the wood products industry.
Consumers are increasingly putting pressure on manufacturers to improve the impact that packaging has on the environment, with ethical packaging now becoming a ‘must have’ quality when purchasing a product, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.
Sophisticated label substrates have experienced exponential growth due to demand for high-end applications, according to FINAT’s latest findings.

Semper International, a placement firm that services the graphic arts and printing industry, has published a study in which it found that despite some growth in Q3, the industry will likely witness some stagnation in the fourth quarter.

“Every sector of the economy has felt the effects of government mismanagement. From sequester to the recent government shutdown, the government’s lack of activity is hurting people,” says Dave Regan, CEO of Semper. “Semper is in the unique position of seeing the pain from both sides of the coin. We see companies struggling to keep their doors open, and we see jobseekers struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. We need Washington to step up and provide the stability and incentives businesses need to see to start hiring and investing. It's the only way we're going to get the economy moving again.”

Survey participants include more than 300 small, medium and large printing companies in the U.S.; both clients and prospects of Semper International. While a few Canadian companies were asked, none participated in this survey. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring as well as estimated outlooks on future trends. Data is requested from a random sample and is not screened. Semper has been running quarterly surveys since February 2003.

Key findings from the study include:

• 71% of companies surveyed reported a profitable Q3. This represents a 3 point increase over second quarter.
• 42% of survey respondents reported an increase in revenue over last quarter.
• Looking at the two weeks before the survey was taken, 34% of companies reported an increase in current sales, matching data from the third quarter survey.
• 40% of companies expect sales to increase through the remainder of Q4, 2013 while 36% expect sales to stay the same. Last quarter 56% expected a sales increase and 30% expected sales to stay the same.
• The vast majority of respondents indicated that hiring levels will remain the same or increase, nearly the same as last quarter.
• Just under half of companies reported that healthcare is still the labour cost component that increased the fastest last quarter. Healthcare has remained the fastest growing component of cost for the last 15 quarters. Overtime, the next largest component, rose 12 points from last quarter. This increase in overtime could be an indicator that some segments are so unsure of the economy they are forcing overtime to avoid the hiring process - an expensive bet in the mid-term.
• The greatest competitive threat to printers remains largely unchanged from last quarter. The current economy (52%) is the largest threat, exceeding price pressures from lower cost competitors (19%), and emerging technology (11%).
• Print buyers place the greatest pricing pressure on ink to substrate printing (46%).
• Referrals (40%) continue to be the most popular way to find employees. Use of flexible staffing increased 5 points to 15%.

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has published an report which says that in 2012, U.S. Trade publishers’ net revenues grew by 6.2 percent over 2011.

The data, based on numbers provided by 1,193 publishers, also notes the rapid growth of eBooks which now accounts for 22.55 percent of revenues compared to 16.98 percent in 2011 and just 3.17 percent in 2009. When the report started tracking eBook numbers in 2002, the number was at 0.05 percent.

In formats, Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction saw growth in eBooks, downloaded audiobooks and paperbacks while Children’s and Young Adult eBooks, hardcover and board books saw increases. The eBook format in the Religious Presses category also grew as compared to 2011.

According to a report by Publishers’ Weekly last fall, Canadian publishers reported that digital book sales were estimated to be 12 to 13 percent of the book market for 2012, up from the 12 to 13 percent figure of 2011.

According to a new study released by the Pew Research Center regarding news consumption trends, newsstand sales declined 16 percent for all major news magazines in the U.S. during 2012, with magazines overall declining 8.2 percent. While newspaper subscription revenues were steady, a major decline in print ad revenue continues.

Among the hardest hit were The Economist, which declined 17 percent and The Week, which declined 18 percent. Newsweek, which stopped publishing a print edition at the end of last year, dropped five percent. Print subscriptions were relatively stable, a fact which the study attributes to discounts and special offers. Of six magazines studied, ad pages declined 10 percent in 2012.

For newspapers, daily circulation fell 0.2 percent, a number that is buoyed by new digital pay plans implemented by 450 newspapers in the U.S. Advertising revenue numbers provided by the Newspaper Association of America indicates the industry has fallen below US$20 billion. For every $16 in print ad revenue lost, only $1 in digital ad revenue was recouped, a worsening trend from the $10 to $1 ratio witnessed in 2011. Newspaper ad revenues now sit at 60 percent of what they were a decade ago.

On the whole, magazine revenues declined 10.4 percent and newspapers declined 5.9 percent year over year, with Digital (online) and Local TV gaining 16.6 and 10.1 percent respectively.

Read the key findings of the media study here.
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