10 of 11 Months of Increased Inflation-Adjusted US Commercial Printing Shipments
By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: June 4, 2015
This chart shows how the US commercial printing shipments have been better compared to the prior year for the last 11 months of reporting by the Commerce Department. What's it mean? We're still averaging $400 million per month less than a similar period in 2010-2011, and we're well below the levels of ten years ago by about -$2.8 billion per month.
The recent stability may be the result of several factors.
First, weak companies are gone as a result of closures and consolidations, leaving companies that know what modern print users need.
Second, there has been a generational change in management to owners and executives who are more comfortable with digital technology because they have always used it, growing up with cell phones, video games, and computers everywhere.
Third, the big targets for displacement by digital media have been pulverized, and what remains are specialties and applications more appropriate to a multichannel integrated media marketplace.
Fourth, there a more companies using business development techniques (tell us about your target audience and how we can make your digital initiatives more effective) rather than old sales techniques (would you like to see my equipment list?).
Then again, it could be the calm before another storm. New data networks are on their way, such as 5G, where two hour movies can be downloaded in six seconds rather than six minutes. Print has a good story to tell, but please, don't make it an old story. Print needs to be fresh and new. The market may be stable now, so use this time well to get ready for the market ahead.